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Spend £50m On Police Not PR

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GMB Calls On Government To Spend £50m On Police Operations Not On A PR Operation To Promote Police And Crime Commissioners

By 2015, we will have lost 15,000 police officers and 15,000 police staff as a result of the government’s cuts and this is putting a huge strain on the service to keep the public safe says GMB.

GMB, the union for civilian staff in the police service, is calling on the Home Office not to waste a further £50m on promoting Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) and spend this money on operational staff instead.

This GMB call is in response to the announcement by Police Minister Damian Green today (14th November) that he is throwing £50m a year into schemes to promote PCCs. GMB say this will do nothing to get more police on the street. This comes on top of the £75m spent on the deserted PCC elections, and the further millions spent by PCCs on running their offices.

An opinion poll published today shows a third of the public don’t even know they have a PCC, and only 7% know the name of their Commissioner. This follows turnout of 11-20% in PCC elections, showing the public are not interested in the Home Office’s much vaunted project.

Sharon Holder, GMB National Officer for police staff, said “One year ago today PCC elections were ignored by the vast majority of the public. Since then they’ve done nothing to cut crime, thousands of police jobs have been cut, and even PCCs themselves admit their job is a waste of time and money.

GMB represents thousands of workers in the police service. These workers find it hard to understand how the government can find millions to fund PCCs the public don’t even know about, while they are seeing the police service they have dedicated their careers to decimated by government cuts.

By 2015, we will have lost 15,000 police officers and 15,000 police staff as a result of the government’s cuts. GMB members tell us cuts are already putting a huge strain on their ability to keep the public safe.

Damian Green says spending another £50m a year on PCCs will ‘drive efficiency’. Throwing good money after bad seems a pretty strange way to make a service more efficient. The reality is the public care about crime coming down, and feeling safe in their neighbourhoods, not another layer of bureaucracy.

£50m a year would pay for thousands of police service workers, so GMB calls on the Home Office to redirect this funding into police staff, which is what ultimately keeps people safe and our communities free of crime.”

End

Contact: Sharon Holder 07713 508 725 or 0208 947 3131 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

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