UK: In eight years violent crime almost tripled in Manchester
The UK’s capital, as well as other cities across the UK, are facing a sharp increase in the number of violent crimes. Many politicians and experts agree this increase is directly related to budget cuts and other austerity measures being implemented by the British government. Ministers say not so.
You would think it would be obvious. Crime rising as much as 161% as police are forced to cut 3,000 officers and staff in eight years but not so say ministers.
The Greater Manchester Police are being forced to tackle the rise in crime whilst the government continues to cut funding according to the local Manchester Evening News.
A 114-page plan to tackle violent crime, released by the government on Monday, doesn’t refer to police resources being slashed.
Ministers deny that the massive increase in crime has any correlation to the vast number of front-line officers being cut and say that the tripling of violent crime in the area is up to the struggling police force to sort it out, insisting it is not a problem you can ‘arrest your way out of’.
The British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has insisted that the rise in violent crime is not linked to the budget cuts and said it was a ‘mistake’ to blame police numbers alone for the rise. However, a leaked Home Office document indicated that less police officers on the streets may in fact be responsible for the upswing in violent crime. Ms. Rudd claimed to have not seen the leaked report.
Home Office statistics show the number of police officers fell from 143,734 in March 2010 to 123,142 in March 2017.
Manchester’s police chief has described the link between the rise in violent crime and police budget cuts as “obvious” while former senior officials from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) – which serves London – have also voiced similar concerns and called for budget cuts to be reversed.
“GMP has lost £250m, 2,000 officers, and 1,000 staff since 2010, and we are now facing an eighth year of real term cuts. As demand rises and crimes become increasingly complex, our police and criminal justice system is creaking,” says Bev Hughes, the deputy mayor for policing and crime in the Greater Manchester area.
Since 2010, Greater Manchester has lost 2,000 officers and 1,000 staff. During that same time, violent crime has nearly trebled with a 61 per cent rise in the last year, alone. This has led local authorities to be forced to increase council tax rates in the area in an effort to fund the hire of 50 more officers and PCSOs, but the official warned that this “is not a sustainable solution.”
“We have been left with no real choice but to ask local people to fill the gap. While we have committed to use the additional money raised through council tax to recruit at least 50 additional police officers and maintain PCSO numbers, this only serves to mitigate the worst effects of these continued cuts. It is not a sustainable solution,” concludes Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing and crime.