Crime has increased in Cleveland, with 517 more crimes reported in the area between March ’11 and March ’12 compared with the figures for the same period the year previous, according to a report published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.
Budget cuts and the loss of frontline officers have made effective police work progressively more difficult. The situation is set to become worse as the Cleveland Police Force is expected to save £26 million from its budget by 2015, which will include cutting 750 people from its workforce, 270 of which will be police officers. These cuts will return Cleveland to 1974 policing levels.
“Many of my constituents have contacted me, complaining that the lack of police officers is having a detrimental effect the wellbeing of the area.
“One gentleman said that he had called his local police station to complain about vandalism only to be told that no one could respond to his call since there were only 2 police officers on duty that night, and they had already been deployed elsewhere.
“This situation is clearly untenable. As Stephen Matthews, the chairman of the Cleveland Police Federation said ‘We have managed until now, but can we do everything we have been doing in the future? – I am not sure’. David Cameron promised that frontline policing would not be affected by his mammoth 20% cut in funding, but this claim was an outright lie.
“These most recent statistics are irrefutable proof that the safety of our communities is at risk. Cameron’s cuts need to be halted before crime escalates any further.”