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Tuesday, 20 November 2012 (3032848)
West Lancashire MP slams police cuts in Parliament
by David Simister

WEST Lancashire's MP has criticised policing cutbacks which have left parts of the borough covered by just three officers at night in Parliament.

Rosie Cooper said in a questions session at the House of Commons on Monday (November 19) that Government-instigated cutbacks at Lancashire Constabulary under-rescourced, and criticised the investment in the election of Police and Crime Commissioners instead of front-line officers.

She said in the Commons: “At 32 square miles, Scarisbrick in my constituency is the largest parish in Lancashire. The village now shares its one police constable and two police community support officers with neighbouring Burscough, following the £42 million-worth of cuts to Lancashire’s police budget. At night, three police officers cover 50 square miles from Ormskirk to Skelmersdale, which are vast areas for the police to cover.

”How can the Home Secretary justify to my constituents that the £100 million spent on the police and crime commissioner elections, with a turnout of just 15% in Lancashire, is an effective use of scarce resources when we are losing front-line officers?“

Damian Green, the Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, responded by telling Ms Cooper that while he could not account for the decisions of Lancashire's chief constable, he did point out that crime across Lancashire had fallen.

The Conservative minister said: ”Obviously, it is not for me to comment on the individual operational judgments of the chief constable of Lancashire, but I am happy to be able to tell the hon. Lady and the House that, despite the constraints that she has mentioned, recorded crime in Lancashire between June 2011 and June 2012 went down by 2%.

“I hope that not just her constituents, but others in Lancashire are reassured that the police there are doing an extremely good job of cutting crime and keeping the streets safer.”


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