New data shows police cuts hitting front line
Figures released today reveal that 69 police officers and staff have been slashed from Cumbria Police's front line in the last year, representing 4% of the workforce. South Cumbria MP Tim Farron said this show that the government is overlooking Cumbria and can't be trusted to protect our police force.
The figures show that the number of police officers has fallen by 26 over the last year, to 1102. This is exacerbated by severe cuts to other frontline staff. The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) has fallen by almost 10%, from 93 to 84. PCSOs support the work of police officers and act as a reassuring presence on our streets. The number of designated officers, who are skilled police staff (not police officers), has fallen by over 10%, to 28.
Police staff, providing vital support to frontline police, have also been cut by almost 6%, falling by 33 to 543.
Tim said: "This is an inexcusable assault on our police force. The government thinks that if it just slowly chips away, year on year, then people won't notice. But the reality is that these cuts are hitting the front line and it is our communities that will pay the price.
"It is easy for politicians in Whitehall to shift numbers around in a spreadsheet and cut police numbers. It is much harder for our police force, left trying to cover a huge geographical area with ever fewer staff.
"If the government is serious about keeping our communities safe, it cannot continue to slash police numbers. Cumbria Police cover an enormous but sparsely-populated area, and the government must make allowances for this. At the moment, the government is overlooking Cumbria's unique situation and are showing that they can't be trusted with our police force."