As research reveals a massive hole in the Norfolk Police Budget:
LITTLE ASKS CLARKE: "POORER POLICING OR A COUNCIL TAX HIKE: WHICH IS IT?"
"Will the £7.8m black hole in police funds for next year land on council tax payers", asks Norwich Conservatives Parliamentary Spokesman Antony Little as new research again reveals how the government is failing to be tough on crime.
Some police authorities are so short of cash that cuts in manpower and service levels are in prospects, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis has warned.
Responding to this news, Norwich resident Antony Little said: “Police authorities increasingly find their hands tied behind their backs by Labour’s centralising approach to policing. Police forces have every right to feel aggrieved at the lack of local control as they are held to ransom by a government that tells them how to spend their money and forces them to spend time on form filling and gimmicks and not on meeting local priorities and needs. We see it in the NHS and education and now we see it in the police service too.”
“Reports of funding problems and cutbacks in police forces across the country come as a double whammy for the public who have already paid for their police through the council tax. This news means one of two things - poorer standards of policing or a massive hike in the police precept on our council tax.”
Promising that an incoming Conservative government would fund an extra 40,000 police officers to tackle crime, the Antony added: “It is this type of commitment which is needed from the Government. Sadly they have refused to match it. Labour’s failure comes at a time when Tony Blair’s promise to be tough on crime seems increasingly hollow. Seven years of failed rhetoric have lead to crime soaring, with more than a million violent crimes last year alone.”
The survey found that Norfolk will be £7.8 million under funded.
"Think back to the last week's news", Antony declared. "The N&N is £15m in debt, there are to be up to 100 teachers laid off in Norfolk and now the police are struggling with a £7.8m black hole funding crisis."
"Labour cannot be trusted with our public services."
Check out Iain Dale's blog for another Conservative view on the crisis.