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Labour votes against further Coalition cuts to Hull policing – but Lib Dems vote them through

Lib Dem MPs this afternoon (Tuesday 10 February) voted down Labour’s plan to save 1,100 police officers from being cut next year.

The choice presented to the House of Commons today was:
•    Tory plan – 1,100 officers cut in 2015/16 and no plans to help the police make savings, so that frontline policing is hit again.
•    Labour plan – saving 1,100 officers in 2015/16 by making savings on gun licencing, procurement and Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Tories plan means cutting 1,100 more police officers next year - on top of the 16,700 police officers who have already gone, over 8,000 from the frontline.

According to ACPO, the Coalition plans mean cutting 34,000 further police jobs over the next five years, including at least 16,000 police officers and thousands of PCSOs. Labour will take a different approach.

As the election is in May and the financial year will already have started, Labour will accept the 2015/16 budgets only with extra savings and policies in place that would protect frontline policing.

Labour would be:
•    mandating national procurement to save forces over £100m in 2015/16
•    instigating full-cost recovery for gun licences saving forces £20 million in additional costs in 2015/16,
•    increasing driver offender retraining fees, raising £9 million for forces in 2015/16
•    and scrapping the Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May next year.

Labour's approach would see savings made whilst ensuring Chief Constables have money to better protect frontline policing and save 1,100 police officers that will be cut under Coalition plans. With the Government refusing to introduce any of Labour’s measures, Labour refused to vote for their plan to cut 1,100 more police officers.

Unfortunately, the support of Lib Dem MPs allowed the Tories to vote down Labour’s plan to protect frontline police by 285-212.

Commenting on the outcome of the House of Commons vote, Shadow Home Office Minister and Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “Today’s vote was a choice between losing police numbers or protecting 1,100 police officers by saving the police money. I voted to save frontline policing in Hull from further cuts.

“Yet again Lib Dems MPs voted through cuts to policing in Hull – even though they promised voters in 2010 ‘3,000 more police on the beat’.

“After cuts made in the first three years of this Coalition Government, the Hull and Humber area had seen frontline police cut to the lowest number since 1979. Now Lib Dems and Tories propose going even further with their cuts.

“With our zero-based review, Labour has identified alternative savings that would protect front-line police officers, starting with saving 1,100 under threat in 2015/2016. This is the worst possible time for the police service to suffer further staff losses. With crime changing, anti-social behaviour a serious problem in parts of Hull and new national security challenges, this Government is failing in its duty to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

“I’ve seen the impact of the cuts in police numbers in Hull. We need a police service that is responsive to the needs of our local community, but this Government seems determined to destroy neighbourhood policing that detects and deters crime.”

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