I have recently been contacted by constituents regarding the increase in burglaries in Saddleworth. I was made aware of this matter last week and I have since been in contact with Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
It is important that the local community feel safe and that effective action is taken by our local police service to reduce crime. GMP informed me that an operation in response to the increase in burglaries was put in to place in early January and they have been working with their partners and businesses to increase awareness and tackle the problem to ensure the safety of constituents living in the Saddleworth area.
I understand Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) have been visiting premises to offer advice on crime prevention and are assisting in the introduction of a business watch scheme. Police Officers are aware of the increased crime reports and have been defaulting on nights to police the area with a view to apprehending offenders.
I have spoken this week to Superintendent Denise Worth, who has expressed her willingness for community PCSO’s to meet with residents directly at a local meeting. This will take place at 11.30am-12.30pm on Saturday the 27th February at the Uppermill Civic Hall, Lee Street, Oldham OL3 6AE and you are welcome to attend. Furthermore, I will be visiting businesses in Uppermill who have been affected this Saturday and I will also continue to raise constituents’ concerns about safety in Saddleworth with GMP in my regular meetings with them.
The first duty of any Government is the safety and security of our citizens. This is why during Wednesday’s debate in Parliament on the Police Grant Settlement, I raised the issue of burglaries in Saddleworth and cuts to our local police service, as GMP has seen a reduction of 2,000 front line posts.
The Police Grant Settlement gives police funding figures for the next financial year (2016/17) and confirms that forces are going to endure further real-term cuts in funding from central government, despite George Osborne’s promise to protect the police in November. Labour’s campaign forced the Tories to u-turn on extreme cuts of over 20% to the police budget in November. However, the Police Grant Settlement sees further cuts to police forces, and forces local people to pay more to make up for it – police forces are expected to raise an extra £369million in local tax to make up for Government cuts.
In addition, the UK has seen the sharpest decline in police numbers anywhere in the EU. The Government has broken their promise to the public to protect frontline officer numbers and cut funding to the police service by £2.3bn (25% in real terms) in the last Parliament.
In the last 6 months alone, a further 1,300 police officers have been lost. That’s the equivalent of a whole force. The most recent losses bring the total reduction in police officers to a staggering 18,000 since Cameron became Prime Minister – just over the total number of officers in the whole of Scotland.
Please be assured I will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep in close contact with GMP. If you witness a burglary in progress or any suspicious criminal activity please put your safety first and ensure you contact the police immediately. You can call 101 in a non-emergency and 999 in case of an emergency.