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Sunderland Lib Dems slam exaggerated Tory Northumbria Police funding claims as ‘smoke and mirrors’

January 7, 2021 1:55 PM
By Malcolm Bond

Wearside's Liberal Democrats have attacked 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.

Liberal Democrat campaigner Malcolm Bond at the site where new houses are being built next to South Bents estate

Fulwell campaigner Malcolm Bond

Local Conservatives have claimed that "Northumbria Police is set to receive an additional £18.6 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 Northumbria Police an extra £12.8 million for the financial year 2021-22.

The Conservative figures assume that the local Police and Crime Commissioner will raise the extra £5.8 million through a £15 increase in their part of people's Council Tax bills.

Malcolm Bond, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Fulwell and Seaburn, said:

"Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. Our police do an amazing job but they are overstretched and underfunded. Many parts of Sunderland feel as though they see no visible policing at all.

"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 across the North East 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."