The Tories in Wales will cut community policing, Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour PCC candidates have warned today (Monday)
Under the Tory plans, Wales would lose the 500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) currently patrolling our streets.
The PCSOs are funded by the Welsh Labour Government – in an effort to bolster policing numbers in the face of relentless UK Tory Government cuts since 2010.
Welsh Labour has committed even more resources to keep our streets safe if re-elected in May.
One of our key Senedd election pledges is to increase the numbers of PCSOs to 600 on our streets across Wales.
All Welsh Labour PCC candidates have joined with First Minister Mark Drakeford to warn about the Tories’ plans to cut funding for public safety.
The Tories in Wales have repeatedly said they will end all Welsh Government spending on policies that aren’t devolved to the Senedd.
The Thomas Commission concluded that 38% of total justice expenditure in Wales—all of that non-devolved responsibilities—now comes from the Welsh Government and Welsh local authorities.
Mark Drakeford, Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister of Wales said:
“It is crucial that anyone who wants to be First Minister of Wales puts keeping people safe at the top of their agenda.
“We stepped in to fund 500 PCSOs in Wales as the Tories inflicted a decade of cuts to policing across the UK. A Conservative Welsh Government would cut this investment, putting further pressure on community policing.
“Be in no doubt. They’ve cut policing before and they will do it again.
“Welsh Labour will strengthen our support for safer communities. A vote for Welsh Labour is a vote for safer streets and more PCSOs in our communities.”
Jeff Cuthbert, Welsh Labour & Co-operative PCC for Gwent said:
“I see the impact the Welsh Labour Government-funded PCSOs make every day.
“They work closely with communities as a vital part of our policing service.
“To end up losing them if the Welsh Conservatives get elected would be a bitter blow.”
Alun Michael, Welsh Labour & Co-operative PCC for South Wales said:
“PCSOs play a vital role keeping our communities safe across South Wales.
“The additional PCSOs funded by the Welsh Labour Government has enabled us to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and prevent harm – including issues like domestic violence and abuse, sexual violence, modern slavery and ensure fairness to every community and every citizen. A vote for Welsh Labour is the only vote that makes sense.”
Philippa Thompson, Welsh Labour & Co-operative PCC candidate for Dyfed Powys said:
“The choice in May’s election is clear. A Welsh Labour Government standing up for community safety and our police, or the Welsh Conservatives who would leave Wales with fewer PCSOs – and less of a chance of fighting crime.”
Andy Dunbobbin, Welsh Labour & Co-operative PCC candidate for North Wales said:
“We need our police to be in the strongest possible position to protect our communities.
“They cannot do this if their numbers are cut once again. That’s why I’m so glad to stand as a Welsh Labour candidate in this election – because we stand for increasing community policing.”