The latest inspection report into Greater Manchester Police has rated the force as 'requiring improvement', which should be a cause for concern to us all.
The work of GMP in tackling serious and organised crime has been rated as outstanding, and the report found other aspects of their work to commend. There can be no doubt that the force and their officers are doing the very best they can in increasingly difficult circumstances. However, there is no denying that the overall judgement of the inspection report is concerning.
I receive regular reports from residents of anti-social behaviour and relatively low-level crime in Heywood and Middleton. Residents tell me how difficult it is to get through to 101 and how infrequently they feel they see officers on the streets in their communities.
Crime is on the rise, but Theresa May has spent the last 8 years cutting police funding, first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister.
You simply can’t protect the public on the cheap. £180 million has been cut from GMP since 2010 by the Tories. Such a drastic reduction in funding would have a significant impact on any business or service, and the police are no different.
The government have chosen to cut that money, but whenever the police themselves or myself and other MPs try to explain the impact of these cuts on local policing to the government they simply refuse to acknowledge that the problems exist.
The loss of around 25% of the workforce under the Tories since 2010, including 2,000 police officers, is huge. It is no surprise that the ability of GMP to monitor, prevent and respond to reports of crime in our communities is suffering under the weight of such massive losses in resources and personnel.
Residents deserve better, and our police deserve better too.
Read the full inspection report at https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/peel-police-effectiveness-2017-greater-manchester/