Bradford South MP Judith Cummins has today (October 26) written to her demanding a meeting following her challenge to Theresa May on police cuts.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Judith raised the issue of cuts to police numbers, surging crime in her constituency – as well as a police pension shortfall which could see a further 400 officers lost across West Yorkshire.
The Prime Minister said the pensions issue had been known about “for some years”, but yesterday, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) released a joint statement refuting her assertion.
Chief Constable Sara Thornton, chair of the NPCC, and Mark Burns-Williamson, chair of the APCC, said they had only been aware of the changes since September 2018, and had been given no guidance or a timeline for those changes to be put into effect.
They also warned that if the changes are implemented in 2019 they “would undoubtedly significantly damage the service we can provide to the public”.
Judith raised a point of order in parliament to set the record straight.
Speaking afterwards, Judith said: “Following the Prime Minister’s response to me on Wednesday, it was vital that I put on record that police chiefs have not known for about the scale of these changes for years, but only since September this year.
“The issue of huge cuts to police funding – and the damage it is doing to our communities – is far too important to let something like this slide.”
In her letter to the Prime Minister, Judith said: “I am extremely concerned that if the costs of these changes are borne by local police forces the effect on frontline policing would be severe, especially at a time when the police are already overstretched and contending with rising crime.”