Friday, April 23, 2021

Lib Dems warn against return to 'damaging' Whitehall police targets

The Liberal Democrats are calling on Priti Patel not to impose centralised crime targets on local police forces, warning it “would be a grave mistake” that “risks seriously undermining” police officers.

In a letter to the Home Secretary, the party’s Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael and 27 candidates for Mayor or Police and Crime Commissioner write that “the police need to be responsive and accountable to their local communities, not micromanaged by Ministers in Whitehall.”

The Liberal Democrats argue that the Government should instead be focusing on “ensuring that police forces can restore proper community policing, where officers are more visible, trusted and known personally to local people.”

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“It seems Priti Patel is the latest Home Secretary who thinks she can do the police’s job better than local police chiefs and officers on the ground.

“Making police officers chase arbitrary Whitehall targets won’t make our communities safer. All it does is waste police time and undermine public trust and confidence.

“This is yet another example of Conservative Ministers trying hard to seem tough on crime, but failing to do what works to actually prevent it.

“What police really need are the officers, resources and time to focus on preventing and solving crimes. That's why the Liberal Democrats are opposing these plans for damaging centralised targets and urging the Government instead to work with local forces to restore proper community policing.”


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