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Boris Johnson's pledge of extra police numbers welcomed by Derbyshire's crime commissioner

Derbyshire's Police Commissioner says he welcomes the announcement of 20,000 officers across the UK.

Boris Johnson made the pledge upon becoming prime minister last week, but Hardyal Dhindsa says despite the increase there will still be less police in our county than there were 10 years ago.

He said: “Clearly I welcome the idea, in fact it’s long overdue.  I have repeatedly called for an increase in officer numbers to keep our communities safe.

“In Derbyshire alone, even with the increase in officers enabled by this year’s council tax rise, we are still roughly 400 officers down on 2010 figures. 

“This has put untold pressure on our officers, while victims have gone without justice as offenders take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the cuts to our establishment in the knowledge that too many crimes are going unpunished.

“Whilst I will do everything within my power to work with the Government to make this work, I do question the feasibilities.  Any increase to officer numbers needs to be supported by a long-term funding to commitment to policing and the entire criminal justice infrastructure. This must not be a populist (and short-term) electioneering headline, only to be kicked into to the long grass when it’s served its headline grabbing purpose.

“I do question where the money is going to come from in the long-term. I’m clear this bill should not land at the feet of local people’s council tax.  It’s time for the Government to put its own money where its mouth is.

“You have to remember, that this is not just about the cost of additional officers.  There is a raft of associated on-costs.  Recruitment for a start, followed by training, uniforms, equipment such as mobiles and technology, vehicles, even having the room space for the new officers’ lockers – it’s a long list and not cheap.

“I am also thinking about our partners in other agencies, who have also been subjected to damaging funding cuts.  They will be under even more pressure unless there is a similar uplift in their own establishment.  For example, at Chesterfield Court, if you are charged today, your trial is unlikely to take place before November.  If a lot more people are charged, how long will it take for their case to heard. It’s not just about preventing crime and catching criminals, we need to make sure that the guilty are convicted and punished. This announcement makes no mention of that.

“All these points must be taken into account if the system isn’t to implode. 

“This move highlights that the cuts have been too deep for too long making all the pain experienced by the public and the police over the last nine years seem particularly unnecessary.”

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