Police cuts come under fire from Ipswich MP in parliament debate
PUBLISHED: 07:30 02 April 2019
Before Brexit votes got under way, the government faced a grilling from Ipswich MP Sandy Martin over Suffolk Constabulary's shrinking budget.
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.”