Asking for a realistic investment in policing at this critical time is the subject of a letter written by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh to Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP.
The letter requesting extra capital investment and armed response officers, which is also being sent to Prime Minister Theresa May MP and Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd MP, was shared with the Police and Crime Panel at a meeting on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
The Police and Crime Panel supported the PCC and Chief Constable, and are also planning to write, in their decision to share the current position of policing in Avon and Somerset following the terror attacks across Manchester and London over the past three months.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “To say it’s been testing times for policing I feel would be a real understatement. Between the multiple terror attacks across the country to ensuring the continued safety of the local communities of Avon and Somerset, like other public services, policing is being pushed to its limit.
“In Avon and Somerset since 2010, we’ve had to find £60 million savings already and we’ve still yet to find another £20 million savings by 2021/22. While the Chief Constable and I continue to do all we can to protect frontline policing, we feel strongly any additional funding for counter terrorism and armed policing should not come from further reducing budgets for local policing. We have written to all our local MPs and the Home Secretary to say that policing needs investment to meet these current threats.”
While welcoming further reform and opportunities to collaborate, the letter highlights the challenging nature of policing – more complex criminality, advances in technology, victim vulnerability, reducing public services and greater public scrutiny.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “The Commissioner and I are doing all we can to protect the frontline in Avon and Somerset, obviously seven years of cuts has meant that our workforce has reduced. I am forced to ask my officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers, who are already working hard, to do even more; extending their shifts, adding to their tasks and increasing their workload and this is not sustainable in the long term.
“We’re asking the government to look at the funding available for counter terrorism, armed and local policing. We need to be strengthening our neighbourhood policing teams, focusing on prevention and working closely with our local residents.
“The attacks in London and Manchester have shown the incredible bravery and the pivotal role our police service plays at the very frontline of our country’s security.”
You can read the letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP here.
Posted on Wednesday 28th June 2017