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Judith challenges PM on police cuts scandal

Judith challenges PM on police cuts scandal

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins challenged the Prime Minister over policing cuts which have led to a surge in crime on her patch.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Judith asked whether cash-strapped police forces should be fighting for funding when serious crime is on the rise.

Judith told Theresa May: “West Yorkshire Police has 900 fewer officers than it did eight years ago. The result: a 45% rise in violent and sexual crimes in my constituency this year.

“And now the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners have warned that the Government’s pension shortfall will cost £165 million pounds and leave 4000 fewer officers on our streets. In West Yorkshire alone this means another 400 officers lost.

“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that this is national scandal and that the police should be fighting crime – and not fighting for funding?”

The Prime Minister responded: “Can I say to the honourable lady that, of course, we have seen an increase in, particularly she referenced, the issue around sexual abuse crimes and crimes of that sort. We have seen an increase in the number of crimes being reported but that is partly because we have now got an atmosphere where people are more ready and willing to come forward and report these crimes.

“She refers to the issue of the pensions. This is an issue that has been known for some years.”

Speaking afterwards, Judith said: “The Tories used to claim they were the party of law and order, but their woeful record over the past eight years shows they are anything but.

“The PM glossed over the fact that violent crime is on the rise nationwide and our Police and Crime Commissioner himself has said the detail of these pension changes are unexpected and will affect the ability to recruit more officers.

“West Yorkshire’s Chief Constable has spoken about the impact cuts have had on her ‘exhausted’ officers and their ability to do their jobs. Mark Burns-Williamson has previously said lack of resources has meant in a rise in response times, an increase in crime and a decrease in confidence levels.

“It’s time the government got a grip on this problem. My constituents and people across Yorkshire are suffering as a direct results of their policies.

“I hope the Prime Minister – and her chancellor – take on board what I said today.”

UK Labour Party