Geoffrey Robinson MP is calling on the Tory-led government to stop cutting police numbers, as a reduction in police will inevitably lead to an increase in crime.
Geoffrey said: “Because of the Government’s 20 per cent cut to the police budget our Chief Constable has been put in an impossible position. Across the country frontline police officers are being lost, officers are being taken off the beat to do the jobs previously dealt with by support staff, and neighbourhood policing is being cut back.”
“Overall the Government has cut over 12,500 police officers and over 15,000 support staff across England and Wales. Although these figures are huge, many of these losses are only for the first year or two and could get even worse.”
“The police cannot be exempt from making savings, but going too far too fast puts the fight against crime at risk. That’s why the numbers of police officers and PCSOs should be protected and why cutting crime should be a priority, not an afterthought. I’ll continue to campaign against these cuts, and you can help by visiting www.StopPoliceCuts.co.uk, signing the petition and increasing the pressure on the Home Secretary Theresa May to stop and think again.”
The current number of police officers and police staff for Coventry is:
Police officers 601
Police staff 125
Coventry Police have lost 30 police officers this year (2011) through retirement. A similar number of police staff have also been lost through retirement and voluntary redundancy.
A breakdown of the Police Officers include:
There has been no recruiting now for 2 years and so none of the above have been replaced. The prediction for police officers leaving for the remainder of this year is less because lots of people went in March and only another 6 police officers reach retirement age this year.
Around 20 police staff will leave in September through voluntary redundancy and retirement.
There are currently 50 police officers who are either permanently or temporarily restricted from front line duties. There are a range of reasons for the restrictions but those officers cannot go out and perform front line duties.
Coventry is one of 10 Local Policing Units in West Midlands and the West Midlands Numbers are pretty much replicated across them all. Therefore, approximately 300 police officers have been lost from West Midlands this year (2011).
Crime Trends West Midlands/Coventry - 2010 / 2011
Coventry posted a 14.4% rise in acquisitive offences (robbery and burglary dwelling up by 26% each – an extra 731 offences across the year).
Similar numbers are related across the West Midlands where an 18% rise in robbery – (823 extra offences) and a 6% rise in burglary – (1,447 extra offences) is masked by a natural decline in vehicle related offences – down by 17% across the West Midlands.
However, a reduction in vehicle crime is closely linked with ever improving security features and the type of property left in vehicles, for example Sat-Navs, were the subject of and drove much of the offending over recent years. Market saturation now means that returns are low and as a result offenders are not funding (or partly funding) a lifestyle through these means as they might have done in the past.
The overall reduction in vehicle crime across the Midlands more than cover the rises in both Robbery and Burglary and will be reported so as they are included in the National Indicator Basket as Serious Acquisitive Crime (Ni16).
Beneath these figures a notable trend was the increase in the volume of charges against younger people through to mid 20's - who had no previous police record or limited criminal history - and where they did not generally relate to acquisitive offending. This makes the work of the police more difficult and leads to enquiries becoming more protracted.
These changes were not unanticipated, youth unemployment amongst under 25’s has hit 23.5% for males aged 20 – 24 in Coventry, and sits at 33% for youths aged 16-19.
Other information that may be of interest includes:
· The BCU Fund (Home office money straight to BCUs) provides funding towards numerous partnership initiatives. There is a strong likelihood that this will cease to exist in 2012.
· The Safer Stronger Communities Funding (area based grant) from the Home Office which is allocated to Coventry is being reduced by over 60% in Coventry over the next 3 years. This funding supports a significant amount of the partnership working across the city and is the same across the country.