Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa today renewed his plea for public support in his fight for a fairer funding deal to tackle crime.
The Commissioner and Derbyshire Constabulary Chief Constable Peter Goodman will hold key talks with local MPs in Westminster on October 11 to add fuel to their protests against budget cuts and years of inadequate Government funding for policing.
Both Mr Dhindsa and Mr Goodman are asking members of the public to write to their local MP to back their calls for increased resources to improve safety across Derbyshire and bolster the thin blue line.
A webpage dedicated to the fight has attracted hundreds of hits but Mr Dhindsa is urging residents to take positive action by making their voices heard.
“Together we will continue to stand up and fight for a funding settlement that takes account of the changing criminal threat, increased demands on our services and the individual needs of local people,” he said.
“We simply cannot sustain further cuts to our budget without this impacting on our ability to respond in an emergency to those most in need. The Government must recognise the risks to public safety of further under investment and take action to ensure Derbyshire and other forces across the country are fully resourced for the job they face.
“We’ve lost 378 police officers since 2010 and are demanding more and more from those officers and staff who remain in post. Budget cuts have already radically changed the way we keep people safe and further productivity management is simply not enough to protect neighbourhood policing from further erosion.
“Crime affects everybody and I hope everyone living in Derbyshire takes the time to strengthen our message and help sustain the county’s position as a safe county with a police force that is fully equipped to keep local people safe from harm.”
In 2010-11, Derbyshire had 492 residents per officer while today that figure is 620 per officer.
Mr Dhindsa and the Chief Constable have already written to the Home Secretary stressing the impact of the ever-changing nature of policing, including the increase in cyber-crime, the threat of terrorist activity, the rise in human trafficking and modern slavery, new psychoactive substances, child sexual exploitation.
Part of their argument focuses on the claim that police funding is “protected” which they say is somewhat overstated as this does not accommodate inflationary rises, legislative responsibilities and population increases.
Earlier this month, Mr Dhindsa hit out at the police pay awards announcement, saying it didn’t give police officers any financial certainty going forwards and left him unable to make long term plans.
The Commissioner wholeheartedly supports an increase in pay for the county’s hard-working officers and staff but explained paying for it would have to come from essential reserves which would further damage the financial health of the already beleaguered service.
Residents interested in supporting the Commissioner’s fight for increased funding can download a letter template at www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/fairerfunding.
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Posted on Tuesday 3rd October 2017