Bill Esterson MP: Tory-Lib Dem cuts will devastate our police force

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is calling for an urgent meeting with Merseyside Police Chief Constable Jon Murphy to discuss the force's plans to cope with Tory-Lib Dem cuts which could result in stations throughout Sefton being closed.

Bill said if the rumoured plans to close Crosby, Formby and Ainsdale Police Stations, while Marsh Lane goes part time leaving just Southport station as the only full time office, are true, then communities throughout the borough will be left vulnerable.

Bill said he has already been contacted by concerned constituents.

Bill said: "Such widespread closures of police stations in Sefton will cause very real concerns for people in this borough.

"Communities as far apart as Crosby and Formby need police stations which are open to the public. But I fully understand that any proposed closures are all as a direct result of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government slashing funding to Merseyside police.

"This has meant that we could have approximately 800 fewer officers in Merseyside with the remaining officers also having to pick up the jobs of the 1,000 civilian staff who are also the victims of the cuts."

Bill, who is scheduled to meet with Police Federation in Parliament tomorrow said he would be raising the issue at the meeting.

In a recent survey 88% of police officers raised concerns that the Tory-Lib Dem cuts would result in a rise in crime.

Bill said: "Police officers are raising these concerns. They are making a clear statement that they think that as a direct result of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat policy there will be a rise in crime in our communities.

"But the government is refusing to listen to the people on the front line - the serving officers who know.

"The President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, has already warned the government that the cuts risk 'compromising the safety of citizens for reasons of expediency'. But still Cameron and Clegg refuse to listen.

"Now frontline officers are raising some very worrying concerns.

"Our police forces are being cut back to the extent that they are having to ration how, where and when they offer cover. this is seen in the direct threat to our police stations here in Sefton.

"The police cannot suffer a 20% cut without their being implications. These implications will be felt on our streets and in our communities. And that is why I am fighting so hard to get the voices of the police officers heard in an attempt to force this Tory-Lib Dem government into changing course before they do irreparable damage to our communities here in Sefton Central and around the country."