Northumbria PCC reacts to rival pledges on policing

Dame Vera Baird.
Dame Vera Baird.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has responded to rival pledges on policing by the Conservatives and Labour.

Earlier this week, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd signalled that Prime Minister Theresa May will vow to ring-fence the £12billion police budget for the next five years.

Dame Vera Baird said the announcement is ‘of no comfort to Northumbria’.

“It pretty much means the status quo; more money will be taken off forces through top-slicing to pay for national initiatives and the ring-fence won’t take into account levies that the Government has introduced such as the National Apprenticeship Service – police funding doesn’t need ring-fencing, it needs increasing.”

“Ring-fencing an already slashed budget won’t help Northumbria,” she added, highlighting that the force has lost 898 officers since 2010.

Ms Rudd was responding to Labour’s pledge for an extra 10,000 bobbies on the beat, which she said was ‘without credibility’.

But Ms Baird, a former Labour MP, said: “Putting 10,000 extra police officers on the street nationally would be greatly welcomed, as our share here in Northumbria would make a real difference.”