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Lib Dems to fund 28 more police officers across Folkestone and Hythe

November 29, 2019 10:14 AM
Simon Bishop

Bishop: A plan to fund another 28 police officers across Folkestone and Hythe constituency

The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to fund at least 28 police officers across Folkestone and Hythe constituency 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 per cent pay-rise for serving police officers.

Liberal Democrat plans stand in stark contrast to Labour and the Conservatives, who have made big promises on police numbers, 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 to escape justice in Kent 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 over 249 criminal fugitives to justice over the past five years, the analysis reveals. Kent police alone extradited 249 criminals to justice in their home country in the last 5 years.

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. If current trends were to continue, that would mean more than 249 criminal suspects could avoid extradition in Kent over the next five years.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Folkestone and Hythe, Simon Bishop, said:

"Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their own streets. 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 Kent 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 Folkestone and Hythe. The Liberal Democrats are committing £1 billion nationwide investment per year to fund this - that's £250 million more than Labour or the Tories.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party willing to back our bobbies with money, not just words. We are the only party that can stop Brexit, make our communities safe and build a brighter future."

The Liberal Democrat commitment of 20,000 more police officers is enough for two extra officers in every ward across England and Wales. That is the calculation used above.

The Conservatives' cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing, with 47% of people saying they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.

Manifesto spending commitments for the police force (by party):

Crime statistics under the Conservatives: