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Government 'gambling with public safety' over police cuts

19/12/2017

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham says the government has gambled with public safety by announcing an eighth successive year of real term policing cuts.

The government has confirmed that the police grant for 2018/19– the money police forces receive from central government – remains the same as this financial year. However, this means a real term cut due to inflation and other additional financial pressures.

The government’s calculations also assume that local areas will increase the policing element of council tax by £12 per household. The Mayor says this would mean some of the most deprived communities in the country bearing the burden of the government’s failure to fairly fund policing.

Greater Manchester Police has lost 2,000 officers and £215m since 2010.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is the eighth year in a row that the government has inflicted real terms cuts on Greater Manchester Police. People are noticing the loss of visible policing in their communities and this dangerous decision will make that even worse. With the terror threat at its current level the Government are gambling with public safety.

“After all they have been through, our police officers are entitled to expect better from their government but once again they have been let down. While government argues that they have allowed more local flexibility to raise money, what they are actually doing is abdicating responsibility for public safety and making hard-pressed council tax payers pick up the bill.

“Areas like Greater Manchester, with some of the most deprived communities, are less able to raise money from council tax compared to more affluent areas of the country, and it therefore less able to mitigate the damage caused by these cuts.”

Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes added: “Greater Manchester has faced immense challenges over the last 12 months, with officers and staff showing great dedication and commitment to keeping our communities safe. This announcement is another kick in the teeth for a service that, whilst still under immense pressure is providing a first-class policing service to the public of Greater Manchester.”