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Randerson uncovers shocking failure of Ministers to fight to keep South Wales safe

June 9, 2009 1:30 PM

Welsh Lib Dem Assembly Member for Cardiff Central, Jenny Randerson AM has discovered that Welsh Assembly Government Ministers have failed to even contact the Home Office about the funding problems facing South Wales Police caused by its capital city status.

A Freedom of Information Request has shown that while South Wales Police has been closing police stations and withdrawing patrols form the M4, Welsh Ministers have been sitting on their hands and not putting pressure on the Home Office to resolve the crisis.

The only times Ministers have ever discussed the cost of policing the capital with the Home Office were in 2004 and April 2007, long before the current crisis.

Jenny Randerson AM said "I am absolutely stunned that while the people of Cardiff are facing the closure of four police stations and people across South Wales are facing cuts in front line policing, Labour Ministers haven't even been bothered to speak to the Home Office.

"The Chief Constable has been very clear that many of the force's problems are a direct result of the extra costs of events in the capital. It beggars belief that this dereliction of duty by the Labour-Plaid Government has taken place.

"They owe the people of Cardiff and South Wales an apology, as well as action to put this right as soon as possible."

Notes:

1. Excerpt from WAG FOI reply below: "WAG Ministers have written to the Home Office on 2 occasions about the funding for South Wales Police in respect of their capital city duties. The first letter was in June 2004 about policing events at the Millennium Stadium and the Second was in April 2007 in relation to costs of policing any of the events/activities as part of the 2012 Olympic Games."

2. Earlier this year, South Wales Police announced the closure of Cathays, Roath, Canton and Grangetown Police Stations in Cardiff as a result of financial constraints as well as ending routine patrols on the M4.

3. Both the Metropolitan Police and Lothian and Borders Police, which covers Edinburgh receive considerable extra funding for policing Capital Cities. South Wales Police does not.