Thames Valley Liberal Democrats and their Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate, Cllr John Howson have attacked local Conservative boasts about police funding as “smoke and mirrors” that dress up a potential Council Tax rise as if it were extra funding from the Government.
Local Conservatives have claimed that “Thames Valley Police is set to receive an additional £26 million in its funding, thanks to the Conservative Government’s increase to police budgets.” However, detailed Home Office figures reveal that the Government is only giving Thames Valley Police an extra £13 million for the financial year 2021-22.
The Conservative figures assume that the local Police and Crime Commissioner will raise the extra £13.5 million through a £15 increase in the Council Tax precept.
Cllr John Howson, Liberal Democrat Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for Thames Valley said:
“Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. Our police are overstretched, and many parts of Thames Valley see no visible policing. The Tories are even now planning to close police station counters
“The Conservatives are desperate to seem tough on crime but are failing to do enough to actually prevent crime. Their unnecessary cuts to police numbers and youth services contributed to the rise in violent crime. And now the Tories are exaggerating the funding they are providing. People in Thames Valley deserve better.”
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “The Tories’ boasts about police funding are nothing but smoke and mirrors. “At a time when our police are under enormous pressure, Priti Patel has abrogated her responsibility and passed the buck to local police chiefs. “It’s just not good enough. The Government must give forces the funding they need to restore proper community policing and make us all safer.”