MP fears police cuts will risk public safety

Andy Burnham MP
Andy Burnham MP
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A BOROUGH MP has said the latest police cuts will “put public safety at risk”.

Andy Burnham, who is the MP for Leigh and shadow home secretary, believes the 25 to 40 per cent cuts proposed by his government counterpart Theresa May will mean an end to neighbourhood police and the police community support service.

He is spearheading a campaign to force Ms May to re-think the planned cuts.

Last week Greater Manchester police commissioner Tony Lloyd said GMP is faced with returning to “1970s numbers where police were used as an emergency response service.”

Mr Burnham said: “The police services are looking at eye-watering cuts and if they go ahead Theresa May will be putting public safety at risk.

“It would mean the end of neighbourhood policing and PCSOs. We have crimes not being investigated and victims going unsupported. The police service is the last safety net and we will be running a national campaign to say to the Home Secretary at the time of rising crime it is not the time to cut the police.”

Recent crime figures for the borough show a 22.9 per cent increase a trend reflected across the region.

And earlier this month Lancashire Police’s commissioner Steve Finnigan said the cuts would leave the force “unviable” by 2020.

Theresa May has maintained that forces that make cuts and efficiencies without affecting frontline services and the savings targets are expected to be announced next month in the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

Mr Burnham believes the extent of the cuts are unworkable. 
He added: “I believe five per cent would be doable, five to 10 would be difficult. But the numbers they’re looking at pose a real risk.”