Po­lice bud­get stretched to the limit

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Community - With Ogmore MP Chris El­more

SINCE be­com­ing an MP, there have been both chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn.

In re­cent months I’ve en­rolled in the Par­lia­men­tary Po­lice Scheme; it has high­lighted to me the very real chal­lenges cur­rently be­ing faced by of­fi­cers on the front­line.

The scheme al­lows me to work with both the Met­ro­pol­i­tan and South Wales Po­lice forces.

Dur­ing Septem­ber, I’ve un­der­taken shifts with the Maesteg Divi­sion, see­ing for my­self the scale of the work in­volved in polic­ing our val­ley com­mu­ni­ties.

It is dif­fi­cult to not be im­pressed by the of­fi­cers’ com­mit­ment to the ar­eas they serve, de­spite fac­ing very real pres­sures around staffing and ever com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions.

The in­creas­ing prob­lem of those sus­pects who may be suf­fer­ing with their men­tal health only adds to the com­plex­ity of mod­ern day polic­ing.

It’s ap­palling that the Con­ser­va­tive Gov­ern­ment has cut cen­tral fund­ing from South Wales Po­lice by 30% since 2010.

The fact this is the sec­ond small­est cut of any force in Eng­land or Wales is some­thing we lo­cally should take no joy from, it sim­ply con­firms the very real prob­lem of not fund­ing polic­ing prop­erly over the last eight years.

The NAO has now con­firmed that po­lice bud­gets are stretched to their limit and there is an ur­gent need for real terms in­vest­ment.

I sup­port calls from South Wales Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Alun Michael, to stop the po­lice cuts and in­crease fund­ing to pre­vent re­source pres­sures wors­en­ing.

We must do more to en­sure front­line (and in­deed back room) staff work­ing for forces are pro­tected.

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