Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s Labour candidate in the forthcoming Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Election, claims that the Tories are jeopardising community safety by undermining neighbourhood policing strategy.
Mr Dhindsa, spoke out after an HMIC report published yesterday, Thursday, (HMIC Report –‘PEEL: Police effectiveness 2015 – A national overview’) revealed that throughout the UK, neighbourhood police are being diverted by as much as 50 per cent of their working time into other police work.
The report argues that this could limit their ability to identify and disrupt threats to the community like terrorism and organised crime and suggests that the core functions of Neighbourhood Police are at risk of being eroded.
Mr Dhindsa, who has served for three years as Deputy to Derbyshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles, said:
“This is shocking news. We have no evidence that it is happening in Derbyshire, and Alan Charles and I have supported the Derbyshire Constabulary in their determination to provide all our communities with a Neighbourhood Police service in face of the draconian £31 million Tory cuts to police services over 4 years.
“The cuts mean that there have been some reductions to services but we have kept these as low as possible because neighbourhood policing is the cornerstone of our policing approach in Derbyshire. We are developing plans to strengthen and consolidate it and have invested in a digital PCSO to ensure that local neighbourhoods are made aware of this new and growing thereat to vulnerable people both young and old.”
The Labour candidate pledged that if elected in May he would fully implement the plan for neighbourhood policing because it had been and would continue to be the foundation of policing in Derbyshire and blamed the Tories for shedding thousands of police officers.
“Labour Police and Crime Commissioners want bobbies on the beat in the areas of greatest need,” he said.
“Neighbourhood police are the eyes and ears of communities and to gain trust and pick up knowledge they need to be on hand and accessible not diverted into other duties.
“Derbyshire is not safe in Tory hands.”