Friday, 03 August 2012 09:40


Welsh Shadow Communities Minister, Mark Isherwood AM, has accused Labour of misleading the public on policing.


On Thursday (July 26th) Shadow UK Policing Minister David Hanson, MP for Delyn, criticised police budget reductions, despite his Party backing equivalent cuts of the same scale themselves.


Mr Hanson said: “[Labour] planned cuts of around 12%, made up of things like savings on procurement, savings on overtime, looking at how we make efficient use of back office and policing staff.”


 But Labour also support the savings proposed by HMIC, which do not include overtime, and the police pay freeze.

  • Labour back the 12 per cent savings proposed by the HMIC – £1.2 billion
  • Labour back the government’s pay freeze for police officers and staff – £350 million
  • Labour planned additional savings from overtime and shift patterns – £410-510 million
  • Labour have accepted the savings agreed by the Police Arbitration Tribunal - £150 million

These savings essentially match the Government’s own plans to make savings from police budgets over this parliament.

Mr Isherwood said: “Labour’s March 2010 UK budget had included police funding reductions of £545 million by 2014, and since becoming Labour Leader, Ed Miliband has already made deficit reduction and spending commitments, which mean that Labour cuts or tax rises would be similar in amount to those announced by the UK coalition Government.


“When, in a televised debate shortly before the 2010 General Election, Alan Johnson, then Labour Home Secretary, was asked whether he could promise that Police numbers would not fall if Labour won the election. He replied: "No."


“Shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, said earlier this year that Labour would have to make cuts in policing and that he could say, unequivocally, that Labour could make no commitment to reverse any of the Government’s tax rises or spending cuts.”


Mr Isherwood added: “The previous UK Labour Government spent record sums on policing but despite this spending and record police numbers, just 14% all police officers’ time was spent on patrol compared with 22% of their time on paperwork – according to Hansard, 21st April 2009.


“We must focus police resources onto the frontline and also encourage efficiencies within those frontline services.

“In their joint report, 'Sustaining value for money in the police service The Audit Commission, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Wales Audit Office found that the police in England and Wales could save up to £1 billion without reducing police availability. And the October 2010 HMIC report, 'Police Governance in Austerity’, stated that until their abolition, police authorities should focus on setting an affordable direction for policing, and on probing costs and alternatives to offer better value for money for the public.”



Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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