Give police the funds needed to keep our city safe - PCC Kim McGuinness
People in Sunderland are proud of their city and rightly so.They want a police force that has the officers it needs to support our neighbourhoods – tackling crime and keeping people safe.
That message came across loud and clear when campaigning on doorsteps across Sunderland and when visiting community groups and local organisations.
Police officers echo this too when I am spending time with them.
That’s why I have made neighbourhood policing a priority for Northumbria Police.
In conversations with the Chief Constable I have made clear that neighbourhood policing teams will remain a key feature of the force, supporting our communities and helping residents stand up to antisocial behaviour.
But in order to keep our streets safe we need to replace the 1,100 police officers lost as a result of Government spending cuts.
The government has promised a new wave of police recruitment, but has been very quiet on the details behind the big announcement.
Recently, I wrote to both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to try to force some answers.
Just how many more officers will we be able to put on the streets of Sunderland and what funding will the force be handed to pay for this?
The Government is keen to declare the end of austerity, but I have a feeling we’re not out of the woods yet, and as far as I’m concerned we won’t be until all those cuts are reversed and Northumbria Police gets back its 1,100 lost police officers and our residents see their public services restored.
These resources are what we really need to make a real difference, to be proactive and deliver on your priorities.
On antisocial behaviour, for example, we’ve made progress in bringing rates down, but we know we could do so much more if we had more police officers.
I want people in Sunderland to have a neighbourhood police team that’s there for them and I want the Government to hand your police the funds it needs to get that job done.And above all I want to be the commissioner who is there for you, so please do get in touch if there’s something you think the police should be focusing on in Sunderland.