Johnson must use visit to put right police funding scandal - Lib Dems

July 22, 2009 2:58 PM

On the eve of the Cabinet's visit to Cardiff, during which the Home Secretary will see the work of South Wales Police, Cardiff's senior Liberal Democrats have joined forces to again call for an urgent re-think by the Labour Government on their chronic under-funding of the force. Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats earlier this year showed that since the year 2000, South Wales Police has received the smallest increases in funding of any police force in the country. This is on top of the extra pressures caused by the responsibilities of policing the capital city. Rodney Berman, the Leader of Cardiff Council, together with Jenny Willott MP and Jenny Randerson AM has challenged the Home Secretary to use his visit to announce a reversal of his Government's policy of failing to take account of the extra costs to the force of policing the capital city. Rodney Berman said: "It's all very well for the Home Secretary to come to Cardiff for a photo-op but what people throughout South Wales want is for their streets to be kept safe and their families to be protected. "As long as the Government continues to chronically under-fund the force, we will see more cuts to front-line policing." Jenny Willott said: "Alan Johnson has already hinted that he doesn't want Gordon Brown's ID Cards. If he could actually persuade the Prime Minister to spend the millions that could be saved on more police officers, then Cardiff and South Wales would be a safer place to live. "We are already seeing the closure of several police stations, problems for policing major events and an end to routine patrols on the M4, and this will only get worse if action is not taken." Jenny Randerson said: "The police forces which serve Edinburgh and London receive significant additional investment to meet the extra costs associated with policing a capital city. "It is totally unfair that Cardiff should be any different. Instead of coming here for a PR exercise, Alan Johnson should be working up plans to put things right for the people of South Wales."

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