Portsmouth MP warns that policing is at ‘breaking point’

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan says the police need more resources
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan says the police need more resources
Whitsbury Road, Fordingbridge. Picture: Google Maps

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POLICING is at breaking point, an MP has warned in a letter to the home secretary.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan warned of a ‘significant increase’ in burglaries in Southsea and Milton.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

He said the government must ‘boost officer numbers’ to combat the problem, which includes an increase in serious and violent crime.

As reported, senior police in Portsmouth have admitted drug-related stabbings have increased in the city.

In his letter to home secretary Amber Rudd, Labour MP Mr Morgan also warned of the erosion of neighbourhood policing.

He said: ‘Since 2010 and despite the promise of your government to protect frontline policing, my local force has seen a crime increase in my constituency of Portsmouth South and I am concerned by the lack of police resources.

‘This is having devastating consequences on neighbourhood policing, on their ability to collect evidence and intelligence and respond to crime locally.

‘Your government promised to protect the policing budget, but these latest figures demonstrate that those claims are entirely misleading.

‘It is our communities which will suffer.’

Mr Morgan wants the Home Office to publish the long-delayed funding formula that calculates the amount given to each force.

Hampshire police’s chief constable Olivia Pinkney and crime commissioner Michael Lane both say the current deal is unfair.

In the letter, Mr Morgan added: ‘Policing is at breaking point and I would urge you to urgently look at how the government can boost officer numbers, so that we can have confidence that local police forces have the numbers they need to keep our communities and our local businesses safe.

‘A failure to act now, with serious and violent crime on the rise, would be devastating.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The government has protected overall police spending in real terms since the 2015 Spending Review and this year Hampshire Police is receiving £5.4m more direct resource funding than in 2015/16.’

He added a public consultation would be carried out over the funding formula.