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Government Meddling May Hamper Police Says MP

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Sunday, Sep 11th, 2011.

Police work for local forces may be hampered by government meddling according to Wrexham MP Ian Lucas.

He made the claim after this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions where it was revealed that government plans for Police Commissioners will cost at least £25 million, Mr Lucas said it would mean further public money going to politicians rather than being spent on policing.

Mr Lucas met North Wales Police Chief Constable Mark Polin at Westminster on Tuesday along with other members of the North Wales Group of Labour MPs in what he described as a “very positive” meeting.

Among the topics under discussion were the future of community policing in North Wales and rates of detection in North Wales constituencies.

Mr Lucas said: “The meeting we held was very positive, although under a backdrop of policing cuts being pushed through by the Conservative-led government.

“There are also the plans for police commissioners which we discovered today will cost at least £25 million, by the Prime Minister’s own estimate, simply to elect.

“Each Commissioner will then be on a £140,000 salary and add a further tier of bureaucracy to our policing system.

“These proposals will clearly have an effect on policing, which is already being stretched with police cuts, cuts the government say are needed to save money.

“Because of those cuts, community involvement will be key in ensuring that North Wales Police continue to serve the region.

However, Mr Lucas held out praise for the work of police in North Wales, he said:

“Thankfully, under Chief Constable Polin, North Wales Police are committed to providing such a community link.

“There will be issues in the coming months, I am concerned about the loss of some dedicated community beat managers in Wrexham, for instance, but I also understand the climate our police are working under.”

According to police statistics released earlier in the year, recorded crime in Wrexham has dropped by 28% since 2002 in North Wales Police’s priority areas including violence, burglary, theft and drugs.

Do you think that government cuts will have an adverse affect on policing in Wrexham? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

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