Crime figures for the Merseyside force area have jumped once again as its embattled police service struggles to cope with cuts to officer numbers.
Figures just released by the Office of National Statistics show that from June 2017 to June 2018, police recorded crime in Merseyside increased by 12 percent. Worryingly, weapons possession leapt by 46% while violence went up by 25% and public order offences by 26%.
Since the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in coaltion cut £2.3 billion in police funding, with £100’s of millions more cut in real terms by the Conservatives alone since, the number of Merseyside police officers has fallen by 23% with over 1,000 cut, roughly 1 in 4 officers lost.
The number of Police Community Support Officers in the force area has nearly halved during the same period, falling by 43%.
Liz Savage, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, says yet another set of yearly crime increase figures is why many in the town feel it is no longer as safe as it once was:
“ Merseyside police officers do the best they can with the resources they now have but we can’t keep our community safe on the cheap. Despite what the Tories and Lib Dems try to claim, their cuts are clearly having an adverse affect crime. “
” Successive governments since 2010 have wilfully cut police numbers and failed in their duty to protect residents in Southport and beyond. Merseyside officers are being put in an impossible situation, they are desperately understaffed and overstretched. “
Nationally, over 21,000 officers have been lost due to the cuts and the same again in PCSOs and staff. The latest crime figures reveal that knife crime is now at record levels having risen once again by another 12%; violence was up 19%, with homicide increasing by 14%.
Liz Savage says it’s time for the government to accept its part in the crime rise and for Southport’s Conservative MP Damien Moore to stop simply talking about keeping Southport safe and start doing something about it:
“ This can’t go on. If Theresa May really meant her promise to end austerity, then why isn’t she promising to cancel all the police cuts she has planned for the next four years?”
” Also, why isn’t Damien Moore calling for the cuts to be cancelled in November’s Budget? He voted for the cuts last time, he cannot vote for police cuts again. “