Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Budding MP asks Home Secretary to back better police funding

A Liberal Democrat campaigner and aspiring MP has written to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to ask for an explanation as to why funding of the 101 non-emergency phone service is being ended.

Peter Maughan, who hopes to overturn Labour’s majority of 5,000 in Blaydon constituency at the general election, has also asked the Home Secretary to explain why Northumbria Police has had a lower grant increase than most other police forces.

The increase in cash from central government to Northumbria Police is barely enough to cover inflation.

Peter, who is also a councillor in Blaydon consitituency, wrote in his letter, “It seems very unfair that Northumbria Police should get the joint lowest increase in spending in England whilst other areas have had a more generous increase.

“Why is the government treating some areas more favourably than others when it comes to spending on the police?”

Peter also said, “The 101 service has been a success in Gateshead. It has been used by over 30,000 people to report incidents of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“In the likelihood of the loss of this service due to the government’s ending of the funding, residents will no longer have this facility to report low level crime.

“Meanwhile, the low rise in the level of grant will mean that Northumbria Police Authority will be cash strapped in the coming year, leaving less to fight crime.

“The government needs to think again on the spending plans and give us a better deal.”

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