Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has accused the Tory Government of being “blind” to needs of Cleveland Police as it emerged that the force would miss out on funding to tackle serious violent crime – despite Cleveland having the third highest level of serious violent crime in the country.
Speaking at a debate on policing numbers in the Commons yesterday, Alex accused the Prime Minister of “fobbing off” requests for more resources and appealed for the Home Secretary to conduct a review of the funding for Cleveland Police.
The Government has instead insisted that Cleveland Police should fund initiatives to tackle serious violent crime through the £10 million it has said it will provide to the force if the police precept is increased by £10 a year for Band D properties. Cleveland Police missed out on specific funding based on a methodology which is calculated on the number of hospital admissions for knife crime. Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, described this methodology as “flawed” as it fails to take into account the high level of serious crime related incidents against police officers.
How is it fair that the Cleveland Police area – with the third highest rate of serious violent crime – is told to use it existing funding to tackle the issue, when other areas with much lower levels of this crime are given a money from a specific pot?
Once again this Tory Government is blind to the needs of Teesside and Cleveland Police. I’m calling on the Home Secretary to review this decision and give Cleveland Police the funding it needs to tackle serious violent crime in our area. I hope she listens to our requests, and does the right thing.