Closure of police station enquiry desks in Merseyside will damag

Bill Esterson, Veronica Bennett, Diane Roberts and Steve McGinnity

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said cuts to police numbers in Merseyside will seriously jeopardise the public's safety during a time of civil unrest.

The MP will be in London on Thursday when Parliament is being recalled to deal with the outbreak of riots across the country.

Bill is planning to highlight the issue of public safety being put at risk because of Tory-Lib Dem cuts to police numbers in Merseyside and throughout the country.

He raises his concerns after hearing that enquiry desks at Crosby, Formby, Ainsdale and Copy Lane are to be closed as part of a package of cuts to frontline services as the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has slashes police budgets.

Information which Bill is hearing is that the closure of the desks is already finalised with the axe formally falling before the end of this year.

Bill said: "I have already raised my concerns about the Tory-Lib Dem cuts hitting police numbers in Merseyside with the Chief Constable. But again this week I have heard that there are now firm plans to close the enquiry desks at Crosby, Formby, Copy Lane and Ainsdale and Formby police stations' enquiry desks by the end of this year.

"The cuts here will result in 800 fewer police officers and 1,000 civilian staff axed. This is a direct result of the Tory-Lib Dem government's cuts which in turn is resulting in the closure of our enquiry desks here in Sefton.

"But what I am hearing is that these cuts will also be rolled out across the county as Merseyside Police is forced with dealing with massive cuts to its funding.

"This will obviously have a huge impact on policing in Merseyside and police numbers on streets in our communities."

Bill is highlighting the issue when Parliament is recalled on Thursday.

Bill said: "The Prime Minister needs to realise the damage the Tory-Lib Dem government is doing across the country.

"Their heartless cuts are creating very bad feeling in our communities and leading to unrest. Add to that the impact of the axe falling on the police and you have a recipe for disaster.

"A recipe which we are seeing boil over on the streets of London, Birmingham and Liverpool this summer.

"For many, the enquiry desk is the only form of contact between the community and the police. At a time when we need to encourage police/community engagement, these rumoured closures will be devastating for our communities.
 
"I will be telling the Prime Minister directly that his government is agitating the unrest throughout the country. And it is his government which is inflicting serious damage on police resources which are required to keep peace and order on our streets.

"It is a message which David Cameron needs to hear, but one which he refuses to listen to."