Friday, February 23, 2007

South Wales Police Funding Shortfall


It is indeed worrying news that the South Wales Police Force are to face a £3.6 million funding shortfall. The situation in North Wales is even worse - they are to face a £5 million funding shortfall.

BBC News have reported that:

"South Wales Police Authority chairman Ray Thomas said front-line services would not be affected immediately because of savings, but he warned neighbourhood policing could be affected if cuts continued. "

This is particularly worrying news since The Telegraph has recently reported that there are as little as 3 Police Officers on patrol at night. How much worse can the situation become?

The stark reality is that the extra funding to meet this shortfall will have to be found from Council Tax increases - yet again, hitting those hardest who can least afford to pay. The Liberal Democrats have campaigned, and continue to campaign, to scrap the regressive Council Tax and replace it with a Local Income Tax, based on peoples ability to pay.

It is also the Liberal Democrats who have campaigned that the Billions of pounds the Government proposes to spend on introducing ID cards would be better spent to:

· Fund 10,000 more police on top of Labour's plans - as well as completing existing plans for an extra 20,000 community support officers to back them up.

· Equip police with new technology to cut time spent form-filling and help them tackle crime (e.g. handheld computers for beat bobbies so they don't have to return to the station so often).

· Support the inclusion of biometrics in passports only, as a means of combating cross- border crime, illegal immigration, terrorism and fraud.

· Establish a National Border Agency by bringing together the officers from immigration, police and customs who currently have overlapping responsibilities at our ports and airports.

· Crack down on illegal working by improving the way the home office inspects and prosecutes employers of illegal migrants. Allow the use of phone-taps and other 'intercept communications' as evidence against suspected terrorists in court, to make it easier to bring them to court.

Recently, we launched our "We Can Cut Crime" campaign outlining many new initiatives aimed at tackling crime, disorder and prison overcrowding.

Visit our We Can Cut Crime website for more details.


- Richie Northcote 23 Feb 07
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