Our police at breaking point, MP says

MP Paul Blomfield believes South Yorkshire Police are at breaking point, thanks to six years of funding cuts
MP Paul Blomfield believes South Yorkshire Police are at breaking point, thanks to six years of funding cuts
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Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield today told the House of Commons that six years of cuts to funding had harmed the capacity of South Yorkshire Police to fight crime and antisocial behaviour, and put officers at risk.

In a debate on police funding, Mr Blomfield told the House of Commons that South Yorkshire had lost nearly one in five of its front-line police officers, and a quarter of civilian support staff, between 2011/12 and 2017/18.

Mr Blomfield said that constituents had told him of the growing impact of police cuts in local neighbourhoods where community policing and partnership building had reduced crime and anti-social behaviour, making people feel more positive about their communities. But, he said, the “thin blue line” provided by the police was now at “breaking point”.

“We have seen what short-sighted policies have done to our prison service - with the Government now scrambling to overcome the problems that they’ve created," Mr Blomfield said.

“We can’t let that happen to our police service too. We need the Government to recognise the scale of the problem and to persuade the Chancellor to take action before it’s too late.”

Speaking after the debate, Mr Blomfield said: “Cuts have consequences. We’re seeing it in the NHS and we’re seeing it with the police too.

"These are services at crisis point due to Tory cuts. A crisis for communities that depend on them and a crisis for the great men and women that provide them.

“Before the Tories came to power in 2010, people in my constituency felt that effective community policing was getting things on the right track. But this progress has been eroded in recent years, because of funding cuts.

“I urge the Government to act quickly so that the police are properly funded.”