West Midlands hardest hit by government’s police cuts


I am calling on the government to rethink its approach to policing after figures released today show that police numbers have fallen to the lowest for a decade, including the loss of 1,077 officers across the West Midlands.

Today’s figures show that there are now 8,000 fewer officers on the streets in England and Wales, at a time when personal crime, which includes theft and violence, has gone up by 11% – the biggest increase in a decade.

The West Midlands region suffers the largest reduction, losing twice as many police as the South East. And whilst the West Midlands Police Force has seen a reduction in police of 7.3%, Surrey has actually seen an increase of 3.8%.

Police cuts affect all parts of the country but last year Birmingham Labour MPs warned that the West Midlands was going to be one of the hardest hit. This week’s figures show just that. The government is protecting leafy Surrey but slashing police in the West Midlands. Is this what David Cameron really means when he claims ‘we are all in it together’?

I know that my constituents in Northfield are really concerned about the Conservative-led government’s 20% budget cuts to their local police. The government must change course. I hope MPs of all parties will join me in voting against the scale of these police cuts in the House of Commons on February 8th.


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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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