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Alex MP slams Tory-led Government’s cuts to police numbers

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has voiced his concerns about public safety in Teesside in light of the Tory-led government’s cuts to police numbers, which will see a reduction of 266 officers in Cleveland Police Service area.

Sixty two neighbourhood officers, 999 response and traffic police are being lost from Cleveland Police Authority, with 5,500 being cut right across the country.

Nationally, a minimum of 15,000 officers will be cut by 2015 and 179 police stations, 14% of the total, and 264 front counters (22%) will be closed.

Labour too planned cuts – but of 12% over a full five year Parliament which was shown by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to be deliverable without impacting on frontline services.

Crime fell by 43% under the previous Labour Government who put thousands of extra officers on the street, created PCSOs to give a higher profile to street policing, formed neighbourhood police teams and gave the public a greater say in how their communities are policed.

Alex said:

The Tory-led Government are cutting our local police, making it harder not easier to fight crime.

“I know Cleveland Police Authority’s Acting Chief Constable is working hard to ensure neighbourhood policing is maintained but it is inevitable that this will suffer. I also have real concerns around the loss of Police Community Support Officers who do such a great job and whose work is greatly appreciated by the public.

“We recognise savings need to be made, but the Government has doubled Labour’s cuts to police funding, and made the steepest cuts in the first two years. That’s not an attack on waste, that’s an attack on the police.”

“As these cuts begin to hit home, it is our local communities that will suffer.”