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Lib Dems demand more bobbies on the beat

March 11, 2019 10:03 AM

Declan Wilson and Jeremy Hilton outside Hucclecote police stationThe Liberal Democrats are demanding more police officers on the beat in Gloucester.

The call has been made in a motion to the city council which is set to be debated on March 21.

Councillors will be asked to lobby the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable, the city MP and the Home Secretary to increase funding for Gloucestershire Police to allow for expansion of neighbourhood policing and to put more bobbies on the beat.

Over the last decade the Thin Blue Line has been getting even thinner.

Crime is rising, Gloucestershire Police has had to make budget savings of £32 million and the force has nearly 300 fewer officers than a decade ago.

Police community support officers (PCSOs) have also been cut by 34% since 2009.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, who is proposing the motion, said: "It is clear the Conservative Government's austerity has hit policing in Gloucestershire with crime rising and our streets less safe as a result.

"People in Gloucester want to see more police on the streets and in our communities. There is more anti-social behaviour on our streets that is going unchallenged by police officers.

"Violent crime has risen by 16% in the last year and overall crime is up 2% in the county.

"The Tory Government is also shifting the burden of funding Gloucestershire Police to local residents with rising Council Tax bills expected to fill the gap."

There are just nine dedicated neighbourhood PCs serving all of Gloucester's communities. They are supported by three sergeants and 20 PCSOs.

Councillor Declan Wilson, who is seconding the motion, added: "Neighbourhood policing is in crisis in Gloucester. There are fewer police on our streets and crime is rising.

"The police are expected to do even more with less and local policing suffers.

"The Tory Government has to stop the cuts and expecting local residents to pick up the tab."

The motion says: "This council agrees that a strong presence of police officers walking

the beat in the city of Gloucester would be good for reducing crime and disorder.

This council notes that around 300 police officers have been lost throughout the county in recent years, as well as a reduction in the number of police and community support officers.

This council expresses concern about the rising incidence of violent crime in Gloucestershire and also the noticeable increase in anti-social behaviour seen in public places in the city of Gloucester.

The council agrees to lobby the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable, the city MP and the Home Secretary to increase funding for Gloucestershire Constabulary to allow for expansion of neighbourhood policing and to put more bobbies on the beat."