The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to fund at least 138 police officers across Birmingham as part of an extra £1bn nationwide investment into community policing.
This commitment amounts to 20,000 more police officers across England and Wales, enough for an extra two officers per ward. The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.
Liberal Democrat plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made claims about more police, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them.
At the same time, Liberal Democrats are warning that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans risk letting hundreds of criminals escape justice in Birmingham, after analysis revealed the extent to which UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
The region’s police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to bring more than 9600 criminal fugitives to justice over the past five years, the analysis reveals. West Midlands Police alone extradited 355 criminals to face justice in their home country from 2013-2017.
The EAW allows the speedy extradition of wanted criminals, but senior police have warned that the UK risks losing access to the scheme because of Brexit.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Birmingham Ladywood, Lee Dargue said:
“Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets – this can restrict people living their lives as they want to. With entire communities feeling exposed and vulnerable, both the Tories and Labour are claiming to offer solutions but the sums just don’t add up.
“Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s reckless Brexit threatens to cut the UK off from vital crime-fighting tools that the police use every day to keep us safe. His plans mean that hundreds of criminals in Birmingham could remain at large, threatening the safety of our community.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have a bold and credible plan to increase the number of police across Birmingham Ladywood and the rest of the city. In addition to this, we will immediately give Police officers a 2% pay rise. A public health approach, with Police rooted in with our communities, is the best way to reduce crime.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party willing to back our Police with money, not just words. We are the only party that can stop Brexit, make our communities safer and build a brighter future.”