MP calls for rethink on police cuts

WENTWORTH and Dearne MP John Healey is calling on the Government to rethink its approach to policing after figures revealed the number of officers has fallen to the lowest for a decade.

Home Office figures reveal there are now 8, 000 fewer officers on the streets since March 2010.

There were also 143 fewer officers in South Yorkshire in September 2011 compared to September 2010.

Labour said this comes at a time when personal crime, including theft and violence, has gone up by 11 per cent - the biggest increase in a decade.

The opposition party is now calling for the Government to re-open the police funding settlement - in which police forces were told how much money they can spend - when it is debated in Parliament next month.

John Healey said: “People will have real concerns about the loss of 119 officers here in South Yorkshire.

“The deepest cuts to policing budgets will hit this year and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabluary (HMIC) estimate the loss of 16,000 officers through this Parliament.

“People in South Yorkshire value the work that local police officers do in our community and I will be voting against the Government’s police cuts next month.”

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP added: “The Home Secretary Theresa May’s 20 per cent cuts go much further than the 12 per cent recommended by the independent inspectorate and supported by Labour.”

A vote will be taken on the proposed police cuts in Parliament on February 8.