North Tyneside loses out on police patrols because of Newcastle, claim Tory councillors
Tory councillors claim that North Tyneside is losing out on police patrols because of its proximity to Newcastle.
The explosive claims were made at full council meeting last week where the opposition put forward a motion calling for Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness to send more police to non-urban areas in the borough.
Conservative leader Sean Brockbank, who represents Monkseaton South, paid tribute to police, custody officers and civilian staff both locally and nationally, saying they are “the very best of us”.
He said: “There is a clear need for this council to take up the fight to the PCC to take a more robust, equitable approach to the allocation of resources towards non-urban areas such as the vast majority of North Tyneside
“Across Monkseaton South residents have approached me in nigh on exasperation that they are not being listened to when they have had property damage, seen drugs being dealt in public, seen adults urinating or worse in public whilst intoxicated.
“Shockingly one mother told me that she narrowly avoided a stone being thrown at her when she was pushing her baby in a pram.
“Our residents pay towards this police budget they deserve more return for their cash.”
Coun Liam Bones, who represents Preston, said: “In my ward one of the main issues has been hundreds of young people gathering on the sports fields, leaving litter, being abusive to other residents, all fuelled by a culture of under-age drinking.”
Coun Bones claimed residents feel “forgotten” by Ms McGuinness because of the amount of resources dedicated to the city centre.
He added: “Residents believe that the Labour PCC is dedicating too many resources to the city centre and towns like North Shields, Killingworth and are being forgotten.
“As an example I have now on several occasions asked for a meeting with the PCC with each request being ignored.”
Ms McGuinness’ Labour colleagues on the council backed her, and voted against the motion blaming previous Tory cuts for policing issues.
However, they voted through an alternative motion asking Government to increase policing.
They will also urge the PCC to send more police officers to the borough.
Coun Willie Samuel said: “We forget about the cut in police numbers that happened over the last 10 years which is the source of the problem.”
Carl Johnson said Ms McGuinness has “delivered more police way beyond the Government target.”
Speaking after the meeting Ms McGuinness said that she hasn’t ignored the Conservatives’ request for a meeting but that a date hasn’t been fixed yet.
In the mean time, she said, the anti-social behaviour complaints have been raised with the force.
She added: “Northumbria Police are committed to tackling ASB and supporting our neighbourhoods, and but I think the Tories are deliberately ignoring some key context here – you can’t light the match and blame someone else for the fire.
“Yes, we are recruiting more officers, but it comes after the Conservatives axed more than 1,000 police officer posts from our force in budget cuts worth more than £140m.
“What we are seeing on our streets today is what the Government were warned would happen when they started this austerity experiment back in 2010.
“New recruits are welcome, but it will take time to repair the damage done to our police force.”