Wolverhampton Council – Calls For More Police Funding!

Councillor Phil Bateman said today This is the Resolution I placed before Wolverhampton City Council – on Neighbourhood Policing on Wednesday.

“The City of Wolverhampton Council is concerned about the ability of the West Midlands Police as it is currently funded to continue to deliver the sort of proper Community and Neighbourhood Policing that keeps our City safe.
We note the Chief Constable’s recent comments that the force is very stretched, and that he may not be able to deliver ‘neighbourhood policing’.
We therefore request that the Police and Crime Commissioner urgently demand
increased funding from Government to meet the needs and requirements of West
Midlands Police and the Chief Constable and return confidence in Policing to our City.
We call on the Government to provide the resources that tackles the changing face of crime, protects our residents and their property, delivers better and safer policing, in an age when large Metropolitan conurbations also have to protect themselves from terrorism.”

The City Council debated the resolution and all 60 Councillors including the City Conservatives supported the motion. The Conservatives though were just a little concerned about the ’emotion’, but I appealed to them to support the motion and they did!

Here is the speech I gave on Wednesday night!

“This city Council does not debate the standards of Policing in this City often enough in my humble opinion, but that is in itself a for debate another day/
In Moving the motion on your order paper I strongly feel that we have to have police numbers to reflect the crime that is taking place.
During this summer period my frustration was that there were numbers of consecutive days when my Ward of Wednesfield North did not have either a Police Constable or a Police Community Support Officer on duty.

I estimated that this happend at least a couple of days every week. When you go days at a time when your Sgt is not in situ it gets harder to get a response from the Officers when you email information or make requests around crime.

So if I pass information on to my Police team electronically about issues, you can wait a week or longer to get a response. There are no Local Police stations that are open in Wednesfield. Making contact with the Police is a real chore. That what my constituents tell me.

Senior Police Officers are shrinking from sight, you never see anyone other than a PC and a Sgt, the link between the force and the public is getting more and more remote. The reason is clearly because the police numbers are shrinking, and shrinking. The thin blue line is getting thinner and thinner!

In March 2017 Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary for Policing in England and Wales said that policing was in a “potentially perilous state” as government cuts lead to investigations being shelved, vulnerable victims being let down and tens of thousands of dangerous suspects remaining at large.”

I want to question where this lack of Government funding is taking us!

Serving Officers are currently unhappy at the way the Government has axed thousands of Police Officers from their ranks. We are reading of their comments in the national press, and in the social media.

The HMIC said, Some Police forces are reclassifying high-risk domestic abuse victims to a lower level of concern.

Police Officers is some forces are being assigned to investigations that they are not qualified to conduct, the HMIC found, while other forces are struggling to get to grips with the volume of wanted suspects – including murderers, rapists and violent offenders.

Around a third of domestic abuse cases across England and Wales are being shelved because the victim does not support police action – this rises to 50% in five of the 43 forces, which has led to concern at HMIC that officers are not properly discharging their responsibilities in a bid to slash their workload.

HMIC also issued a warning that a shortage of detectives and investigators amounts to a “national crisis”.

There is a great swell of Public Opinion that wants to see MORE police officers not less on the local beats and active in our communities. The Prime Minister who was Home Office Secretary for 6 years and who as Prime Minister has driven forward more Police cuts, needs to know that we all want to be safe!

We all want to be safe from crime, we all want to see crime solved quicker, and at better rates than they currently are now here in the West Midlands. We all want to be safe from terrorism also. I also want to see more PC’s and PCSO’s in Wednesfield not less.

We do not want our Police here in Wednesfield or the West Midlands to be in a perilous state.

I can inform you that in the days I formulated this resolution in July and August we had gangs issues in WN .There were reports of knives, Macheti attacks and a youth with a gun to his head!

During this period I had call to phone 101= I couldn’t contact the police through 101, and had to finally dial 999

The public were very concerned. There are no police for days, officers have told me they are embarrassed by the situation. There are Logs that have never been investigated.

It’s a regular occurrence on the Ashmore Park estate…no police, no PCSO’s, as our neighbourhood police get dispatched to yet another West Midlands Town.

This Government needs to know as our PCC needs to know . Residents are unnerved, they are scared, they want a better police presence. I have written to my MP, Now I am seeking a support from the City Council I move the motion! I urge all 60 City Councillors to support it!.”

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more