Greater Manchester Police Funding Crisis

February 16, 2007 9:23 PM
Kingsway Lib Dems - FIGHTING against crime.

Kingsway Lib Dems - FIGHTING against crime.

In keeping with the national crime campaign - here is the Motion we put to Council.PROPOSED BY COUNCILLOR DALE MULGREW. SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR MARK BIRKETT

This Council:

Recognises that crime and the fear of crime remain major concerns of the residents of Heywood, Middleton, Pennines and Rochdale, in particular fuelled by the persistence of so-called low level crime and anti-social behaviour, the shortage of police officers on the beat in the Rochdale Borough, and the difficulty in getting an adequate response to incidents from a hard working but completely overstretched Police Force.

This Council regrets that in the last year recorded crime has been 3.6% higher than in the same period in the previous financial year and that the Government has cut funding for Greater Manchester Police, resulting in 216 fewer police officers on the streets of Greater Manchester.

This Council further regrets that since 2004, there are 30 less police on the streets of our Borough. Whilst welcoming the increase in Police Community Support Officers, this Council believes that there is no substitute for front line police officers with full powers of arrest.

This Council notes with concern that the Greater Manchester Police Authority Independent Chairman has confirmed the Chief Constable's calculation that Greater Manchester faces a projected budget shortfall of £27 million up to 2009 - this will inevitably lead to cuts in policing in the Rochdale Borough.

This Council further notes with concern that it is estimated that £35 million of funding has been withheld by the Government as part of its 'damping mechanism', despite payment being fully justified on the Home Office's objective needs basis; and therefore calls on the Government to put an end to this inequity and provide the necessary funds to police the streets of the Rochdale Borough and Greater Manchester properly.

This Council also notes with concern the negative affect that limited opening hours and accessibility in Heywood, Littleborough and Middleton Police Stations is having on the fight against crime in our Townships. We therefore call for a comprehensive report to go to the Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the relevant Townships to look at the effectiveness of our Township Police Stations and what this Council can do to support them even further.

This Council praises the ongoing work of the local police officers who do a superb job lead by Divisional Commander David Hull and his team, albeit with limited resources and notes that this Council has a good partnership with the police on tackling crime.

This Council, calls on the Secretary of State for The Home Office Department - John Reid MP to address the ongoing funding crisis in Greater Manchester Police and urgently address the Chief Constables', The Greater Manchester Police Authority and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council's concerns and instructs the Chief Executive of this Council to write to him outlining our concerns and the Home Office Spokespeople from the 2 other Main Parties, asking for their commitment to policing in the Rochdale Borough. To further ask the Home Office and the Greater Manchester Police Authority to investigate longer opening hours at Heywood, Littleborough and Pennines Police Stations to cover peak times especially at weekends and other times identified as 'hotspots'.