NORTH Tyneside’s MP has challenged the prime minister over the impact of spending cuts following the disturbances witnessed across the country last week.
In an emergency debate in the House of Commons following the riots, Mary Glindon, MP, questioned David Cameron’s approach to continue with plans for cuts to the policing service.
She said: “Mr Cameron side-stepped the issue but my fear is that the planned cuts in police numbers could leave us unprotected if there are further outbreaks of disorder.
“Official police estimates are that there will be 16,000 fewer police officers in the coming years.
“As it happens, this is the same number of officers who plugged the gap in London.
“These riots came out of nowhere and I agree with those who include the Mayor of London that this should make the government think again about cutting the thin blue line on which we all rely.
“I hope and pray that there won’t be further scenes of violence anywhere and am relieved that the north east, perhaps because of its greater community cohesion and spirit, escaped the violence.
“But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I ignored the dangers that could be presented by a 15 per cent cut in police numbers in Northumbria in the next four years which will mean 627 fewer officers to protect us.
“There should be an independent and wide-ranging inquiry into the events that shook the country so we can learn all the lessons and examine whether such planned police cuts in particular are wise.”
Mrs Glindon said her constituents had witnessed the terrible events across the country and that members of the Northumbria Police force were deployed to London, and cuts would damage the general public’s confidence in the capacity of all the public services that are meant to protect them.