Yesterday in Home Office Questions I pressed the Government over its complete failure to properly fund the police. In just the past 4 years, total recorded crime in Avon and Somerset has risen by 40%, with violent crime rising by over 75%. At the same time, the number of charges has decreased by 26%, and Avon and Somerset Constabulary now has 1,000 fewer officers than it did 10 years ago.

The Government must fund the police forces properly through the tax revenue it already collects, instead of expecting local residents to cough up more in council tax – which is what the Minister is referring to in his reply. I sincerely hope that the Government’s Police Funding Settlement, which is expected soon, contains a better deal to fund frontline policing.

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