‘Reckless cuts’ could bring soaring crime rates in coming years, warns Greater Manchester Police boss

By Alex Carey

‘Reckless’ cuts mean Greater Manchester Police cannot guarantee that crime will continue to drop, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd claimed this week.

Mr Lloyd has once again hit out at Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s most recent cost-cutting proposal that could see GMP lose 700 police officers.

Greater Manchester has seen an 11% decrease in crime since 2012 but Mr Lloyd told Mancunian Matters that the latest £66million blow to the police budget will make a further decrease a difficult task.

He said: “You can’t be reckless with these cuts and at the moment these cuts are too deep, too fast and they really are reckless.

“Crime has come down but we can’t guarantee that continues if you take away the resources.”

The full effects of the cuts are expected to impact GMP from 2015 onwards with a freeze in recruitment being implemented meaning that officers leaving their jobs for retirement or other reasons will not be replaced.

Mr Lloyd expressed that the ‘worst case scenario’ is if the police return to simply responding to 999 calls instead of also dealing with criminal behaviour and reoffending law-breakers.

Speaking at a ‘Talk to Tony’ event in Dukinfield Townhall, Tameside Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy explained that further cuts are going to be a challenge for GMP.

“We’ve already lost 1800 staff and clearly we face further reductions over the coming years and that’s going to be a real challenge in terms of keeping services going to the public and also in thinking about the changes we’re going to have to make in the months to come,” he said.

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