LABOUR'S candidate for Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner John Prescott today launches his campaign, promising to come up with a 'Plan B' to
protect cuts to frontline police.
New figures reveal 121 frontline Humberside Police officers have already been axed in the last two years because of the Government's 20% cut to police budgets.
Humberside Police has said it would have to cut frontline police numbers by 21% by 2015 to meet the budget cuts.
But a new analysis from the House of Commons Library of Home Office figures reveals the number of frontline police officers has been reduced from 1,628 in 2010 to 1,507 in March 2012 - a cut of 7% in two years.
The former Deputy Prime Minister will be travelling East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire in a mini-bus - designed to be a mobile consultation surgery - where people can talk to John about their concerns about crime.
He will be joined by his campaign's Police Advisor, former Humberside Police Chief Superintendent Keith Hunter who retired last year after 30 years in the force.
Mr Hunter has a proven track record of reducing crime on the North and South Bank of the Humber and as divisional commander of Hull, presided over a 40% reduction in crime.
John Prescott said: "We always warned this Tory-led Government that cutting police budgets by 20% was too far and too fast and would make it harder to reduce crime.
"Now according to these new figures, 121 frontline officers have already disappeared from Humberside Police since 2010. That's a 7% cut in less than two years.
"This will rise to more than 436 axed police officers by 2015, 249 of them lost from the frontline. These severe cuts will clearly impact on the force's ability to fight crime.
"Labour's more proportionate police budget cuts plan of 12% over a Parliament was shown by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, and work by the previous Government, to be deliverable without impacting on frontline services.
"That's why I'm urgently working on a Plan B to look at other options to defend frontline policing and maintain confidence in the force.
"The public will help me write our manifesto because they should have a greater say over the direction of local policing. It shouldn't be left to amateur and inexperienced politicians with unworkable ideas designed to grab headlines.
"It's clear Tory Police and Crime Commissioner candidates are effectively going to be cheerleaders for the police cuts and are too scared to stand up for our communities.
"If elected, I'll make sure the public are heard and protected from these frontline cuts."
John has five campaign pledges he would carry out if elected:
1. Keep our police force public, more accountable and observing national standards
with total opposition to the privatisation of front line services.
2. Give the community a greater say in the drafting of the new five-year Police and
Crime plan. This shouldn't be left to those who think they know best.
3. Greater co-ordination between the community, local partnerships, neighbourhood
watch groups, the police and probation officers to reduce crime.
4. Better support for the victims of crime, giving them more of a say in how
criminals should pay back to society through community service.
5. Be a strong public voice for our police force and community at a national and
Parliamentary level. He will be a full-time and local Commissioner, decentralising
power and holding regular police surgeries with the public across the region.
John said of his mobile consultation: "It is important when setting policies that directly affect everyone in the region that we listen to what people want.
"I want to act as a people's voice, addressing the concerns of the public and ensuring their police service is the best it can be.
"As well as drawing up cohesive social and policing policy, it is vital that we listen to the people. They can also phone and email me with their ideas on what the local policing priorities should be."
People are encouraged to email their ideas and contact John by emailing [email protected] or calling 07789 435322