Police reach ‘tipping point’ as funding crisis looms

PUBLISHED: 06:31 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 22 September 2017

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

sUB

Police chiefs warn there will be serious consequences if they are forced to make millions of pounds in savings as crime is rising and it has fewer officers.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh are warning the Government the force is at ‘tipping point’.

Ms Mountstevens said: “We have reached the point where enough is enough and policing in Avon and Somerset cannot be stretched any further.”

Ms Mountstevens welcomed the Government’s decision last week to increase police pay but said it will cost Avon and Somerset £1.1million – money it will have to find from elsewhere in its budget.

She added: “With required savings of £17million to find by 2021/22, crime and the demand for services rising and changing, all against a backdrop of a reducing workforce, the current situation is unsustainable.

“We need investment in policing, funding to strengthen our neighbourhood policing teams in order to focus on prevention, tackling terrorism before it happens.”

Ms Mountstevens and Chief Const Marsh have written to Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd to highlight their fears.

Avon and Somerset has saved £65million since 2010 – meaning it employs 655 fewer officers.

Recorded crime meanwhile has risen 50 per cent since 2014 in North Somerset.

MORE: Funding fears raised by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Chief Const Marsh said the cuts are ‘simply not sustainable’.

He said: “The challenging and tragic incidents of the past two weeks are a demonstration of the stretch we are facing. Our staff have risen to the challenge to keep people safe, reassured and comforted with humanity, empathy and professionalism in very difficult circumstances.

“But our continuing ability to safeguard communities, protect the vulnerable, and manage major incidents of this kind is being severely tested.

“We’ve reached a tipping point. There are serious choices to be made and we don’t believe we can or should make those alone.

“We believe the time has come for others to share the risk, and budget decisions and future choices about funding should be made in the full knowledge of what they are.”

The Avon and Somerset Police Federation agreed with his views and accuses the Home Office of only ‘paying lip service’ to officers’ concerns.

Related articles

More from Weston Mercury

24 minutes ago

A man required 30 stitches after sustaining a serious injury in an assault while waiting for a taxi in Weston-super-Mare town centre.

Read more

Cheddar are the early leaders of the Western League and have also beaten Bridgwater Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Read more

Worle recorded an emphatic 7-1 victory over Shirehampton in their first match in nearly 20 years in the Somerset County Premier Division.

Read more

Weston Women defeated Purnell Ladies 10-0 in a friendly encounter on the 3G pitch at Woodspring Stadium.

Read more

Weston Mendip recorded a pre-season victory over Welsh University side Cardiff Mets.

Read more

Redevelopment of the Highbridge Hotel after ‘10 years of hiccups’ is set to be underway imminently after a construction contract was signed.

Read more

Speeding measures and an island to help pedestrians cross could be installed near a busy junction on the A370 near the entrance to Weston.

Read more

A project encouraging people to become more healthy and active has launched.

Read more

One of the lifeboats used by Weston-super-Mare RNLI’s team has been retired as it is no longer in good enough condition to use on rescue missions.

Read more

Time restrictions could be put in place to change access to a public footpath.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 17°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists