Police budget stretched to the limit
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.