A Plaid Cymru MS has blamed the Westminster political parties for the massive cuts to policing since 2010.
Peredur Owen Griffiths, who represents the South Wales East region, said the Tories may have swung the axe whilst in Westminster Government but they were backed up by the Liberal Democrats in coalition and supported by an opposition Labour Party.
Mr Owen Griffiths was speaking during a plenary debate on the latest police settlement. He used the example from a street surgery in Pontlottyn last week where a local resident complained about the police response times and how a lack of a visible police presence is affecting the community.
He also said how the proposed police settlement would push police forces into making painful cuts to services.
During the debate, Peredur said: “Austerity has delivered a devastating impact on policing in the UK.
“The brutal cuts to public spending, masked by the term 'austerity', may have been the brainchild of the Tory party, but they are also a stain on other Westminster parties, as it was backed by the Liberal Democrats in coalition Government, and subscribed to by the Labour Party in opposition.
“The initial wave of Tory-driven austerity led to 400 police officers and 100 community support officers being lost from the ranks of the south Wales police force alone.
“Despite the recent investments, staffing levels at this force remain well below the numbers it had in 2010.
“The deterioration in policing levels over the past decade was brought up during a recent street surgery last Friday in Pontlottyn. People had noticed what the Tories, backed by the others in Westminster, have done to community policing.”
He added: “This settlement will make for further grim reading for each of our Welsh police forces. An increase of merely 0.3 per cent in central support funding will do little to address the severe resourcing pressures being faced by our police forces.
“It will necessitate extremely difficult budget decisions. South Wales Police, for example, is facing a £20.8 million budget gap, and are having to identify £9.6 million-worth of savings this year to show that their spending plans for the financial year of 2023-24 are sustainable, whilst Dyfed-Powys Police are having to contemplate savings of £5.9 million over the next five years.”
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