COLUMN: Extra funding is needed for safer streets

The Chancellor’s budget, due on November 22, is less than a month away and discussions are carrying on regarding police funding for the future.

Over the past five years police budgets have reduced by £2.3 billion, representing a 25 per cent cut in grant.

Police numbers have gone down by 20,000, meaning there are less police on the streets.

In fact, police numbers are at their lowest for 30 years.

It’s a similar story in Nottinghamshire.

Savings of £54m have been made over the past five years and the number of officers and PCSOs has reduced.

That’s why I’m working hard with the Government to get extra funding for policing next year.

We’re bidding for extra money nationwide - £440 million next year, increasing to £845 million in 2019/20.

If successful, that would fund 6,000 new officers (in England and Wales) over the two-year period. More than 1,000 of these would be armed officers to combat the immediate terrorist threat.

We’re also bidding for extra funding to tackle cyber-crime, fraud and counter terrorism.

The age of austerity looks set to run through until 2025 and tough and hard talks – and tough decisions – are presently taking place.

I’m determined to get a fairer deal for Nottinghamshire Police and more particularly, Nottinghamshire residents.

The Home Secretary Amber Rudd was in Mansfield recently and I know she received similar messages directly from frontline police officers.

Let’s hope she not only listens but acts.

At the end of the day we all want safe streets where we can be proud to bring up our families.