Former Merseyside Police chief superintendent tells Bill Esterson MP that Tory-Lib Dem Government cuts are dangerous

Bill Esterson and John Sayers


A former Merseyside Police Superintendent who had more than 30 years service with the force has warned that Tory-Lib Dem Government cuts are dangerous for serving officers - and our communities.

John Sayers joined Merseyside Police in 1975.

He worked his way through the ranks until he became Superintendent for North Liverpool, the largest police division in the country.

Near the end of his time in the force, he was seconded onto Liverpool City Council where he was Assistant Executive  Director for Community Safety before going on to Knowsley where he was Community Safety manager.

Speaking to Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson, John said the Tory-Lib Dem Government's cuts to the police were leaving our streets and communities dangerously exposed to crime.

John said: "What we are seeing from this Tory-Lib Dem Government is an attack on the police force and an attack on our communities.

"Merseyside Police is recognised as a leading police force in tackling crime and tackling the causes of crime through innovative crime prevention measures, including neighbourhood policing. But what I now fear is that the cuts that are being imposed by this government will reverse all of the good work done over the past 10 or 15 years by Merseyside Police and start to really hurt frontline policing.

"When David Cameron and Nick Clegg talk about safe-guarding frontline policing, they really are being duplicitous. They know only too well that cuts to the backroom, which include scene of crime officers, radio operators, custody officers, will all have to be done by someone. That means bobbies who should be out on the street may have to fill these positions, directly impacting on the frontline."

The former Superintendent said every part of Merseyside will be affected by the cuts to the police.

John said: "I am worried about these cuts, and I know that senior officers share my concerns. They are struggling to cope with the level of cuts being imposed on them by this government.

"As I've said Merseyside Police is one of the best in the country. It is one of the most forward-thinking forces in the country. I just hope the damage the Tories and Lib Dems are wreaking on our forces is not irreparable.

"We have an outstanding chief officer group on Merseyside Police Force and an outstanding Police & Crime Commissioner. They are being asked to do more with less. But that can only go on for so long. The good work of the last 15 years can be easily reversed. But the damage being done can not be quickly mended. When it comes to the police that damage is public safety."

MP Bill Esterson said John's concerns had been echoed by the Police Federation.

Bill said: "Over the last decade, Merseyside Police has taken great strides in combating crime rates.

"The Police Federation has told me they feel that it is inevitable that crime and disorder across Merseyside will rise turning round the continuous reduction that has been witnessed in recent years.

"It is particularly shocking to hear the concerns of John, who was a leading member of Merseyside Police and who has seen first hand, and led, the great initiatives in the force to tackle crime.

"John, and other officers I have spoken to, warn that the cuts are dangerous and will lead to a rise in crime.

"This government needs to know the damage it is doing to policing in Merseyside and the result will not just be a rise in crime, but an increase in the fear of crime in our communities.

"I am working with the Police Federation and the rest of my Merseyside colleagues in Parliament to put pressure on the government to reverse its damaging and dangerous policing policies."


Bill Esterson and John Sayers