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Police cuts come under fire from Ipswich MP in parliament debate

PUBLISHED: 07:30 02 April 2019

Sandy Martin speaking in the House of Commons Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS/Parliamentary TV

Sandy Martin speaking in the House of Commons Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS/Parliamentary TV

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Before Brexit votes got under way, the government faced a grilling from Ipswich MP Sandy Martin over Suffolk Constabulary's shrinking budget.

Labour MP for Ipswich, Sany Martin, wanted to know if the government though Suffolk police could cope with nine years worth of cuts while keeping the public safe Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONSLabour MP for Ipswich, Sany Martin, wanted to know if the government though Suffolk police could cope with nine years worth of cuts while keeping the public safe Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier on Monday, Mr Martin said: “In addition to our need for police officers we need public interface, intelligence gathering, processing evidence and so on, which depend on police staff.

“Does the minister accept that a 30% cut in Suffolk police staff and the 72% cut in PCSOs since 2010 have reduced the capacity to investigate serious crime?”

Responding on behalf of the government, policing minister Nick Hurd said: “What I would say to the honourable gentleman is that I recognise very candidly that our police system has been under pressure and that’s why we have increased public investment in it.

“As a result of that police and crime commissioners up and down the country are recruiting, at the last count, 3,000 officers plus additional staff.”

The Home Affairs Select Committee published a report in October 2018 warning that policing was in danger of becoming “irrelevant” due to budget cuts.

A letter from the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group in March also called for greater support for the police along with the NHS.

The letter said: “We request that the short-term solutions and ‘sticking-plaster’ grant funding be stopped to allow us to take a longer term approach to the planning of local public services.”

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