Last Wednesday 12 of the 16 Sussex MPs voted to oppose an increase in national policing to be directed towards neighbourhood policing. The proposal came from the Labour Party who argued that the proposed 20,000 increase by the Conservative Government would not be sufficient and so they called for another 2,000 This is not a huge increase but it is hard to understand why 12 of the 13 Conservative MPs oppose it. When Katy Bourne was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner back in 2012 (I came third, fractionally behind the Labour candidate) she was the only candidate who claimed that there was no need to increase the Police precept and that she was capable of improving the efficiency of Police management. She is no longer claiming that, and indeed is currently proposing a further increase to the precept to allow Sussex Police to recruit more Police Officers. Whereas I disagreed with Katy back in 2012, I am more than happy to support her call for an increased budget this year. Indeed the Conservative Manifesto for the last General Election made a very clear statement:
“We will strengthen the accountability of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and expand their role. People must have an accountable local leader delivering on their crime and justice priorities, who they can vote out.”
What seems strange is that the same concept of local accountability does not appear to have been grasped by our local MPs who are clearly at odds with their local constituents on this matter and unlike Sussex Police do not seem to be willing to serve Sussex like our Police force does!
The 12 MPs in Sussex who oppose increasing the number of Police Officers are as follows:
|Arundel and South Downs||Griffith, Andrew|
|Bexhill and Battle||Merriman, Huw|
|Bognor Regis and Littlehampton||Gibb, Nick|
|East Worthing and Shoreham||Loughton, Tim|
|Mid Sussex||Davies, Mims|
|Worthing West||Bottomley, Peter|
Perhaps Katy Bourne and their local residents can call them to explain their decision making as it seems very concerning to me and to a number of other people who want our public sector to be well resourced.