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Government Is ‘Playing With Public Safety’

“The Government is playing with the lives of the public and it doesn’t care.”

That is the reaction of Brian Booth, Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, to the Government’s 2018 Budget.

Policing was barely mentioned in the Budget, with Chancellor Philip Hammond saying that police budgets would be reviewed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in December’s spending review.

Brian said: “It filled me with sadness for the Police Service. For years we have battled through swathing cuts, increasing demand and risk on a daily basis. There has been a huge toll on police officers and their mental wellbeing.

“There have been reports published from the Inspectorate of Constabulary, Office for National Statistics, and the Home Affairs Select Committee all quoting significant concerns around the future of policing due to budget cuts.

“And yet, for all of this to be so openly ignored makes our members angry and it makes the public angry. How can we prioritise potholes over policing and public safety?

“I think the cruellest point of the speech was when Chancellor Philip Hammond recognised that policing was in financial hardship and then gave nothing other than a big boot into the long grass, with another “review”.

“It begs the question, wasn’t the work conducted by the HMICFRS or the ONS or the HASC good enough? The answer is no. The Government is playing with the lives of the public and it doesn’t care.

“One thing is clear, we will continue to campaign for policing and the funding it needs and deserves to keep the public safe.”

Date posted: November 12, 2018

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