Vernon CoakerLabour’s Shadow Police Minister has slammed the Tory-led government’s plans to cut police budgets after a visit to meet police staff in Newcastle.

Vernon Coaker, who is part of Labour’s front-bench team covering Home Affairs, made the comments after meeting Northumbria Police staff earlier this week. Government funding cuts of £85m across the region will see the loss of 758 warranted police officers.


Vernon Coaker met with members from UNISON’s Northumbria Police branch which represents support staff in the force.


After the meeting, Vernon Coaker said:

“As Shadow Police Minister I’ve come here to highlight the affects of these cuts on Northumbria Police. Of course 20% in the central government grant, all front-loaded will have an amazing effect on Northumbria, where over 300 police posts will be lost alongside 800 police support staff.


“I think people here in Newcastle will find that a phenomenal change. What people all want to see are more police on the street and they want that visible police presence.  Its about a visible police presence and uniformed police officers but its also about having those police staff there to back that up.”


“Real gains have been made in respect of crime reduction and public confidence in the police and all that is being put at risk by these cuts.”


Peter Chapman from the union, UNISON said:

“The success of Northumbria over recent years is down to teamwork and vital roles carried out by police staff. The huge cut of police staff jobs by over 40% in just two years will inevitably impact on service delivery.


“While the budget constraints imposed by the Government on Northumbria make it very difficult for the Police Authority they have to realise that UNISON members are the front line of policing and the loss of so many jobs must be challenged at both a national and local level.“