The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to fund at least 68 more police officers across Torridge and West Devon 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 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 Devon and Cornwall, after analysis revealed the extent to which UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
The South West region's police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to bring over 458 criminal fugitives to justice over the past five years, the analysis reveals. Devon and Cornwall police force alone extradited 107 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 458 criminal suspects could avoid extradition in the South West over the next five years.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Torridge and West Devon, David Chalmers 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 Devon and Cornwall 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 Torridge and West Devon. 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.”
You can read more about the Lib Dem plan for policing in our Manifesto:
To help David and the Lib Dem campaign you can: