Pressure continues to pile on Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane today as Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan demands more money be spent on frontline policing.
Mr Morgan’s demand adds to a ponderous inbox for Mr Lane as he looks forward to a vote of no-confidence led by Hampshire Police Federation chairman Jon Apter.
Mr Morgan has his eyes on the £440,000 kept in reserve by Hampshire Police – money Mr Lane initially wanted to spend on his own ‘essential staff’ costs.
Mr Morgan has taken up the cudgels on behalf of businesses in Portsmouth which have suffered a spate of break-ins over the past year.
Writing to Mr Lane, Portsmouth South MP Mr Morgan said business owners had calculated around 230 firms had suffered break-ins ‘over the last year’.
He said: ‘I understand you have set aside £440,000 in reserves for rainy days… well, it’s raining in Portsmouth.’
He added: ‘I urge you to make this money available, not for office expenditure, but for investment in frontline policing in Portsmouth.
‘I have every confidence this is how small businesses, and the people of Portsmouth, would like to see this money spent.’
While we admire Mr Morgan’s enthusiasm in supporting his constituency interests, it might be considered he is being over-dramatic.
It’s a sad fact that burglaries affect many thousands of people a day every year. It is the police’s job to investigate them and to catch the culprits so that justice can be served.
Mr Morgan’s job, as a member of Her Majesty’s Opposition, is to press the government to ensure police have adequate income and systems to ensure that job gets done.
Mr Lane’s job, meanwhile, is to balance the books, and it would be unwise to keep no money in reserve in case of emergencies.
If the spy-poisoning horrors in Salisbury have taught us anything, it is that the police must be prepared for the unexpected.