“We have been paying the price ever since”

This letter sent to the Star was written by Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:31 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:31 am

The Conservative candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election, now deferred until 2021, claims the government is ‘investing in policing’ and cites the commitment to increase police numbers as evidence.

This is breathtaking and one wonders where he has been for the last 10 years.

Since 2010 Conservative Governments have cut police numbers nationally by 22,000 and locally by 600. Whatever they put back it is only what they took away.

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Police on a mobile phone operation. Picture: Ben Fishwick

Far from ‘investing’ they dis-invested in policing (and other public services), while claiming that there was ‘no relationship between police numbers and crime’.

We have been paying the price ever since. Organised crime gangs expanded their drug-dealing from urban centres to towns and villages (county lines), serious violence rose (knife crime), and our young people were drawn in (child criminal exploitation).

What we need from the Conservative Party is a profound apology and an admission that they got it wrong, badly wrong.