A CAMPAIGN calling on the government to reverse plans that could significantly cut the number of police on the streets of Greater Manchester has been launched in Tameside.
Nationally the Government has drawn up plans to cut policing budgets by 20 per cent. And that has prompted fears across the country that the number of police officers will be cut.
Police chiefs in Greater Manchester have already warned that up to 1387 of the force's 8000 police officers will be cut over the next three years - as well as a further 1400 civilian staff.
And Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds believes that the scale of cuts cannot be made without putting public safety at risk.
Now he has joined with Tameside MPs David Heyes (Ashton-under-Lyne) and Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) to highlight their concerns and launch a petition opposing the planned cuts to Greater Manchester Police.
Also at the launch was Tameside Council leader Cllr Kieran Quinn and a number of councillors from across the borough.
"Our police officers do a fantastic job in Tameside," said Mr Reynolds. "They are committed to driving down crime and keeping the people of Tameside safe. And many officers routinely go the extra mile to do so.
"I know that whatever cuts are made to the policing budget in Greater Manchester our officers will be determined to do everything they can to ensure the people of Tameside don't suffer.
"But the reality is that you cannot remove 1377 police officers from the region without it having a serious impact.
"There are concerns that any significant reduction in police numbers will undermine the ongoing fight against crime. "And I do not believe this scale of cut can be made without risking public safety and an increase in crime.
"I believe everyone should have the right to live in safe communities without fear of crime. And today we have launched a petition opposing the government's plans to cut police funding."
The campaign against the cuts to Greater Manchester Police is also being backed by a number of MPs across the region and by the Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls.
"These are the wrong cuts at the wrong time," said Mr Balls. "The top priority of any Government should be to make people feel safer in their homes and communities. But this government is taking big risks with your safety. "The cuts they are making to the policing budget will be impossible to achieve without massive cuts to the number of police on the street and programmes to fight crime and anti-social behaviour."
The petition reads, ‘We the undersigned support the campaign opposing the cuts to Greater Manchester Police of 1,387 frontline police officers by the LibDem-Tory coalition government'. And it can be signed at www.999wrongcutswrongtime.com or by accessing the link at www.jonathanreynolds.org.uk
Published on December 6, 2010