A report from the independent spending watchdog, National Audit Office (NAO), has been released today, criticising the Home Office for their lack of understanding regarding impact cuts to police funding is having on crime.
The report reveals that, “The way the Department chooses to distribute funding has been ineffective and detached from the changing nature of policing for too long”, and that there is “no systematic approach to ensuring forces are financially sustainable”.
Funding reductions vary across the country, but funds from Central Government have been cut by 31% for the West Midlands – which has suffered some of largest cuts to funding, second largest across any region in England and Wales.
The NAO’s report comes at a time when crime in the West Midlands is on the rise. In the last three years alone, charges are down 7% despite reported crime in the region increasing by 17%.
Preet Kaur Gill, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Edgbaston said:
“Crime is the single biggest issue for my constituents, and the situation is exacerbated further by cuts to police funding. Police numbers are down and crime is on the rise, putting significant pressure on our police. The West Midlands Police alone has lost 2,000 officers since the Tories took charge.
The report exposes what we’ve suspected for a long time, namely, that Government Ministers and the Home Office don’t understand the full extent and long-term impact their careless cuts are having on the police’s ability to tackle crime and protect our communities.
I would urge the Home Office to read the report and take heed of its findings and I will continue to hold the government to account.
Labour take safety seriously and a future Labour government will improve public safety by recruiting 10,000 more police officers and 1000 more security and intelligence officers.”