THE Liberal Democrats have announced plans to invest an extra £1 billion a year to restore community policing by enabling forces to recruit 20,000 more police officers across England & Wales and fund an immediate 2% pay-rise.
In March 2019 there were 5,906 police officers in Wales, a fall of 7.4% from the 2010 figure of 6,375. Gwent police had the greatest fall in police numbers, a fall of 10.5%.
Liberal Democrat plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them.
The Conservatives’ cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing, with 47% of people saying they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
“Communities across Wales have suffered under years of repeated Conservative cuts to police funding. Too many people now feel unsafe in their own homes or walking down their local streets when it’s dark.
“The plans we’ve unveiled today will create a safer Wales, by increasing the number of police officers and providing an immediate 2% pay-rise for our hard-working policemen and women.
“The other parties just don’t get it – their plans fail to adequately address retention and recruitment issues, while their sums simply don’t add up. Our plans will see £1billion a year invested in our police, £250million more than the other parties.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have an ambitious but achievable plan to make our communities safer and build a brighter future.”