Olly Martins: ‘The people of Bedfordshire deserve and need better’

Police and crime commissioner Olly Martins.
Police and crime commissioner Olly Martins.

More than 6,000 people have so far signed up to a petition calling for the government to give Bedfordshire Police more funding.

Police and crime commissioner Olly Martins needs to gather at least 10,000 signatures to ensure a government response.

If 100,000 signatures are collected the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Mr Martins has taken to the streets to get the word out and was in Luton town centre on Monday and Wednesday.

He said: “The views of our residents are really important to me. That’s why we’ve launched this petition, to show the government just how strongly our people feel about protecting their police service.

“We have just 169 police officers per 100,000 population - compared to the England and Wales average of 232. The people of Bedfordshire deserve and need better, so that’s why I’m encouraging everyone to sign and share this petition.”

“We have to make it completely plain to the government that we as a county really value our police force and are not prepared to sit back and see it jeopardised by an unrealistic level of funding.”

In May, voters across the county failed to support Mr Martin’s proposal of increasing council tax by 15.8 per cent to protect crime fighting services.

A total of 68.7 per cent of people who turned out at the polls were against the hike and the referendum cost the cash strapped force £600,000.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher has been lending his support to Mr Martin’s petition.

“Our officers deal with an average of eight serious and acquisitive crimes a day - compared to the national average of four; that’s why we need more funding,” he said.

To sign the petition visit www.bedspcc.org.