Today, the Liberal Democrats announce plans to invest an extra £1 billion a year to restore community policing by enabling forces to recruit 20,000 more police officers - enough for two extra officers in every ward across England and Wales. The Party will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.
Liberal Democrat plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them.
The Conservatives’ cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing, with 47% of people saying they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.
The delivery of Brexit will only make our communities even less safe, hitting public finances and leaving police forces underfunded.
Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson in the Lords and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, said:
“Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their local streets. So many communities feel exposed and vulnerable and, although the Tories and Labour are claiming to offer solutions, their sums just don’t add up.
“Police officers are leaving in their droves because they are not being properly rewarded for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to fund an increase in the number of police officers, enough for two officers in every ward, and to provide an immediate 2% pay-rise for our hard-working cops.
"The other parties just don’t get it – we need to encourage experienced officers to stay, as well as recruiting the extra officers we need. The Liberal Democrats are committing £1 billion a year to fund this – that’s £250 million more, every year, than Labour or the Tories.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party willing to put our money where our mouth is, backing our bobbies with money, not just words. We are the only party that can stop Brexit, make our communities safer and build a brighter future.”