Policing matters to Plymouth and opposing Conservative cuts to our Police has been a key part of the Labour Party’s work in Plymouth since the Tories came to power in 2010. Ministers are today crowing about recruiting 20,000 new Police Officers conveniently forgetting that they cut 20,000 Police Officers due to their austerity cuts since 2010.

Commenting on the cuts, Luke said:

“For full transparency with the public and a reflection of the 20,000 officers they cut in 2010, Ministers should rename this programme the Police Replacement Programme. But the so called uplift still leaves the country with 6000 fewer police on the beat and 9000 fewer officers in real terms since 2010 as the population has grown.

“90% of crimes are unsolved, victims drop out in their millions, sexual offences are at record highs. People in the far south west know the truth that this is a Conservative government that is totally failing on law and order. Since 2010, numbers of PCSOs, specials and police staff have all collapsed.

“Baroness Casey’s report on Police failings in the Metropolitan Police published recently highlights the lack of experience left in the police service: “On paper we have the highest number of police officers, [but] we lost more experience in the four years than I have ever seen in CID…while on paper there are officers on seats, the lack of experience is noticeable.

“The proportion of officers in front line roles is lower today than any year since 2011, while the proportion of officers in organisational support roles is higher today than any year since 2011. Not on the streets as the Government promised.

“That is why Labour’s plans to put 13,000 more police and PCSOs actually on our streets, in our neighbourhoods, helping tackle rising crime in our communities. That means more Police for Plymouth.”

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