Police cuts putting residents at risk, says MP
A local MP has told a Government minister police cuts across the region are putting residents at risk during parliamentary proceedings.
Leigh’s representative in the House of Commons Jo Platt questioned home secretary Amber Rudd over the 23 per cent reduction in officer numbers at Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
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Ms Platt said the cuts, which have been implemented since 2010, are putting communities including those in the borough at risk.
She criticised the reductions in the wake of last year’s Manchester Arena terrorist bombing in which Wiganers were among the injured and the police were widely praised for their response.
Ms Platt said: “The cuts imposed onto Greater Manchester Police since 2010 have seriously impacted the frontline services delivered across the city.
“This is placing the people of Greater Manchester at risk by not providing GMP with the resources they need to tackle crime and keep our neighbourhoods safe.
“Following last year’s terror attack in the city, the home secretary rightfully praised the bravery and professionalism of our police service.
“What sign does it give to our city that the home secretary is continuing to so ruthlessly cut GMP’s resources?”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham added to the pressure on Westminster by saying the police minister’s comments on protecting budgets were simply wrong.
Mr Burnham said: “The police grant we receive in Greater Manchester has, in fact, been cut by Â£8m or two per cent since November 2015.
“This equates to the cost of 160 police officers. We have been forced to increase local tax bills to fill the hole in the police budget created by Government cuts.
“Their claims to have protected our police budget were simply untrue.”
Mr Burnham (pictured, inset) also hit out at Government claims the Mayor was not using his reserve funding, saying money was being used to lessen the burden on police services and the amount being kept (Â£13.2m) was within the recommended range.
He highlighted work being carried out in Platt Bridge and Scholes to solve problems at an early stage and prevent people becoming victims of crime or getting drawn into a life of offending.
Mayoral funding is also being used on a mental health triage programme to ensure vulnerable people do not end up in police cells and a unit to combat fraud.