Labour’s Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey visited Redcar today to highlight the “real-life” impact of government cuts to police numbers.
Mr Dromey visited a women’s aid centre with Redcar’s Labour Candidate, Anna Turley to speak with support workers.
The Tories plan a 23% reduction in police funding over the next parliament which would lead to an estimated 1200 further officers lost on top of 1402 already cut since 2010 in the North East.
Cleveland Police have seen their numbers fall faster than any other force in the country, by 22.9% from 1,724 officers in March 2010 to 1,343 by September last year.
The force is expected to lose another 320 officers over the next four years under Tory spending plans.
New figures released by Labour today also show Police response times for the highest priority 999 calls at night, are up by an average of 17% across the country, with a rise of 20% in Cleveland and in Durham by 18%.
Against this background of cuts to police numbers and increasing waits for 999 calls, the number of cases of domestic and sexual violence being reported is going up, yet prosecutions are falling.
A Labour Government would place women’s safety centre stage. Labour would appoint a new Commissioner to set minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence and strengthen domestic violence laws so that fewer offenders can slip through the net. We will ban the police from using community resolutions for domestic and sexual violence.
Establishing a new National Refuge Fund would ensure that women and children have somewhere to turn when they are in need and Labour would continue to provide funding for Rape Crisis Centres around the country which are a vital source of support and help.
Preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence starts early, Labour would make age-appropriate sex and relationships education a compulsory part of the curriculum in schools.
Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey said:
“You can’t trust the Tories with public safety, 999 waits have gone up significantly, including here in both Cleveland and Durham, putting victims at risk, especially victims of violent crime.
“As reports of rape, child abuse and domestic abuse increase, the number of prosecutions is falling and cuts to police numbers put these victims at further risk.
“This isn’t just a debate about numbers, cutting police officers has a real impact on people’s lives.”
Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar, Anna Turley said:
“Women’s safety will be a priority for a Labour government, too little is being done to prevent these crimes, support victims and bring perpetrators to justice. We will do all we can to help women and children trapped in cycles of violence.
“A vital part of this is ensuring that our police services have the resources to help those who need it most, we are determined to find ways to protect vital frontline services.
“Cleveland Police are doing their best to protect neighbourhood policing but the Tories further plans for cuts will undermine community safety.”