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Calls for more funding for policing in Coventry

Published Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Coventry Councillors are calling on the government to reverse cuts made to police budgets and help victims of crime.

At today’s council meeting council members raised concerns about a 28 per cent reduction in local funding since 2010.

Ward councillors said that their constituents had spoken to them about the inability of police officers to respond when a crime has been reported.

Cllr John Mutton, Cabinet Member of Strategic Finance said that it was a vital issue for everyone in communities throughout the city to know that the Police are properly funded. He said: “The local police do a tremendous job, and carry out often dangerous work. They aim to keep us secure and safe and this Council will continue to give its full support to the service.

“However, we are deeply concerned by the increase in crime rates in the city particularly in terms of burglaries and robberies.

“People need to feel reassured because at the moment we have no doubt that the police are operating with one arm tied behind their back.

“In my ward residents tell me that the police struggle to follow up where a crime is reported, and are often diverted onto more serious incidents.

“The blame is not on the local Police force but is down to Government cuts and the damping of Police budgets which has led to the reduction in frontline police numbers and thus their inability to respond to the growing number of incidents that are reported.

“The Home Secretary needs to reverse the cuts in Police budgets that have been made over the last few years.

“We need a service that will respond to people’s needs. We and our residents need to be reassured."

Councillors said that they are committed to work with the police service, other agencies and the public to make improvements where that can be made, whether the crime is anti-social behaviour or more serious crime.

Over recent years, the Council has invested and improved CCTV in the city, introduced public space protection orders and are looking to revitalise the Streetwatch scheme.

Cllr Mutton added: “We will fully co-operate with the police to identify where we can support them but policing is a specialist role which requires skilled officer to investigate crime effectively.

"The motion was unanimously supported by the Council with cross-party support."

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