Local Conservative MP blames taxpayers for lack of police when Tory cuts are to blame

December 1, 2017 10:52 AM
Originally published by Uttlesford Liberal Democrats

Police

Readers of local newspapers will be aware of the shortage of police officers in Essex. The Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner have both made it clear that Essex Police are underfunded, and cannot continue to provide the sort of policing we had in the past. And as a result, we now have virtually no Police on our streets or in our communities.

Our Conservative MP, astonishingly, lays some of the blame on local residents for failing to report crimes. We know, however, that it is Conservative Government funding cuts that are at the heart of the problem.

For some years local people have been warning that this will lead to an increase in crime, and this is in fact the case. Recorded crime is increasing in Uttlesford's towns and villages. More worrying is the perception that nothing is being done about it, despite the hard work of the few remaining officers.

A year ago, local Liberal Democrat councillors proposed the funding of Police Community Support Officers. As a result Uttlesford District Council and several Town and Parish Councils are considering increasing their Council Tax to pay for the salaries and equipment of new officers.

Whilst the attempt to find resources to fund policing is laudable, it calls into question why already cash-strapped Councils are having to consider reducing the money spent on other essential services in order to fund policing.

The provision of a proper Police Force is a major plank of a peaceful civic society, and should be funded properly by Westminster. Our newly elected MP should be standing up for her constituents and demanding proper funding for a proper police presence in Uttlesford, not blaming tax-paying residents.