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Lib Dems would put an extra 25 Police Officers on the beat in Northamptonshire

February 4, 2010 11:00 PM

Picture of police officersLiberal Democrats in Northamptonshire have today set out their General Election plans to put more police on the beat.

The extra officers for Northamptonshire will be funded by the savings from scrapping ID cards, and are part of the Liberal Democrats' Safer Streets - More and Better Police manifesto commitment.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North, Andrew Simpson said:

"People in Northampton are often telling me how they feel unsafe.

"Expensive ID cards aren't going to change that, but an extra officer walking down Abington Street or more police in the Kingsthorpe area on Friday night will.

"The Liberal Democrats are committed to more police, and this is the only way to create safer streets."

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party that wants to cut crime by putting more police on the street.

"When only one in a hundred crimes ends up with a conviction in court, it is time for things to change.

"Labour and the Conservatives may talk tough but they are unwilling to make the crucial decisions to cut crime."

Notes to Editors

1. Police numbers have fallen in 18 out of the 43 police forces (42%) in England and Wales since 2005. Two thirds of these police authorities are currently controlled by the Tories and one third by Labour

2. The new officers proposed under Liberal Democrat plans could be expected to make an additional 27,500 arrests and solve more than 24,500 extra crimes each year in England and Wales alone.

3. The plans to cut crime through more and better policing in 'Safer Streets - More and Better Police' also include:

o Elected police authorities

o Publishing detection data as well as crime data at ward level and a review of the restrictive terms and conditions for police officers

o Including introducing an annual fitness check for all officers on the beat.

4. A copy of the Liberal Democrat General Election policing plans Safer Streets - More and Better Police, is attached.

5. A spreadsheet, 3,000 Police - Numbers per Force, is attached, which gives details of the number of new officers in each area.

6. A spreadsheet, Officer Numbers, is attached, which gives details on the forces in which police numbers have fallen between March 2005 and September 2009 and also between March 2009 and September 2009. This also gives details of the current political control of the police authority.

7. A spreadsheet, Arrests and Detections, is attached, which gives details on the number of additional arrests and detections each police force in England and Wales could expect every year from their new officers.

8. Policy summary:

Police Numbers

At this time of enormous budget deficit, much spending will need to be cut. But in key areas of public policy where more investment is needed, the money must be found. That is why we have decided to prioritise a limited commitment to increasing police numbers by 3,000 over the course of a Parliament. We believe this is vital if we are to build a strong, fair and secure society as we emerge from recession.

Local Accountability

The Liberal Democrats would give far more power to police authorities. They should have the sole right to sack and appoint the Chief Constable, set local policing priorities, agree any national minimum standards, determine budgets, and not have their council tax precepts capped by Whitehall. We would give local people a real say over their police force through the direct election of police authorities by fair votes.

More Effective Policing

The Liberal Democrats would review the very restrictive terms and conditions for police officers - a single point of entry into the force, 30 or 35-year lifetime employment and pay determined by seniority - to see if they are still appropriate. We are also proposing an annual fitness test for police officers. There should be a renewed effort to cut unnecessary police paper-work and to replace form-filling with voice-recognition technology, hand-held computers, and civilian keyboard operators who could take details over the radio. Best practice also needs to be more effectively spread between police forces. The National Police Improvement Agency should be given a wider remit and more resources to scientifically test what works. The new National Crime Reduction Agency should aim to do for policing and criminal justice what the National Institute for Clinical Excellence does in the health service.