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NEWS RELEASE: MPs urged to support Force

  • Posted On 27 Jun 2017

    Please see below Press Statement FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

      

    The region’s newly-elected MPs must get behind West Midlands Police and call on the Government to invest in policing so the Force can deliver all that is expected of it, according to the Police Federation.

     

    Tom Cuddeford, chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, has written to all local MPs urging them to support police officers by speaking up on their behalf in Parliament and asking them to call for increased funding for the service.

     

    “We need a commitment to make changes for the better. We appreciate there is no quick fix but after years of budget cuts it is time for a re-investment in policing, for the good of the police service, our local communities and the public we serve,” says Tom, who represents the Force’s 6,600 constables, sergeants and inspecting ranks.

     

    “As the Force has adapted to reductions in funding, it has struggled to deal with traditional offences while also rising to the challenges of new and emerging crimes such as cyber-crime, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking and the growing threat of terrorism.

     

    “It is becoming more and more difficult for us to provide an effective service for victims of crime and walk the beats in our communities to offer a reassuring visible policing presence and fight crime and terrorism through effective neighbourhood policing.”

     

    The Federation leader also pointed out the effect the cuts were having on officers’ welfare and efficiency, highlighting growing levels of sickness and stress-related illnesses among members as officers struggle to match dwindling resources with ever-increasing demands.

     

    The letter to MPs comes after West Midlands DI Warren Hines revealed, in an interview with Sky News, that an increasing number of police officers are considering suicide because of the strains they are facing.

     

    And, Chief Constable Dave Thompson has also set out his own concerns, calling for funding to be stabilised with real term protection for policing, more effective spending within forces and targeted Government spending to help the service tackle threats such as terrorism.

     

    West Midland Police Federation secretary Steve Grange has highlighted the huge importance the public in West Midlands placed on policing and the fact that officer numbers, resourcing and the welfare of officers rightly came under the media spotlight before the General Election.

     

    “During the election campaigning all political parties pledged to work to keep the nation safe and secure, particularly in the light of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London,” Steve explains.

     

    “The message we heard was loud and clear and supported what we have been saying for some time: police numbers do matter. The loss across England and Wales of 21,500 police officers since 2009, including 1,260 firearms officers and more than 3,250 neighbourhood officers in a one-year period, really does matter and impacts on policing.

    “Here in the West Midlands, we have lost 2,000 officers since 2010. Not only does this impact on the service the public receive here but it also impacts on the welfare and efficiency of police officers.

     

    “The threats and dangers officers face continue to increase, while the protective equipment supplied and sentencing deterrent for those convicted of assault on an officer remains largely unchanged.”

     

    The Federation’s letter to MPs also mentioned the Police Federation’s national Protect the Protectors campaign, which aims to highlight the dangers front-line public servants face and calls for an increase in the tariff for those convicted of assault on all emergency service workers.

     

    In addition, nationally, the Police Federation has been calling for Government funding for police forces for a wider roll-out of Taser, to ensure that officers who wish to carry it have the right protective equipment to keep the public and themselves safe.

     

    West Midlands Police Federation is hoping to meet local MPs so it can explain the issues affecting its members and the police service as a whole.

     

    Steve concludes: “The men and women of West Midlands Police who run towards danger to protect their communities seek their MPs’ support. This support would help ensure their welfare needs are met and that their pay and conditions of service reflect the difficult and dangerous job they undertake on behalf of the public.

     

    “It could also help ensure the police service is properly resourced so that the public can be properly protected.”

     

    Steve Grange JBB Secretary                                                                       

    West Midlands Police Federation 

     

    Police Funding - letter to West Midlands MPs

     
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