Violent crime has reached crisis point in Bedfordshire – and it is time to fund our police force properly.
That is the stark message that the Times & Citizen is sending to the government. And we need your support.
For many years Beds Police have been underfunded compared to most other forces in the country.
Now we are seeing the result of that, as the force also suffer the same funding cuts that have hit every other force in the country.
Over the last six months there have been four murders in Bedford and Luton – and that does not include Saturday night’s fatal gun killing.
But while the police and government admit that we are reaching crisis point, none are addressing the key issue: That our police force needs more cash.
That can’t be short-term funding for temporary projects. It can’t be injections of money that last a year or two but are not maintained.
Instead Beds Police needs to be funded properly in the long-term.
Last week the Home Office organised a special event which talked at length about the crisis of violent crime across the county.
The chief constable, and police and crime commissioner, and the minister of state for policing, all admitted how serious the problem is.
“Worse than anything I have ever experienced,” was the chief constable’s verdict. “Our children and young people are dying,” said the commissioner.
But none of them talked about increasing funding for the police. Instead there was talk of multi-agency work, and pots of cash for temporary community projects.
And an audience of more than 120 community leaders were told that we “cannot arrest our way out of this problem” – a nice soundbite, but one which ignores a simple fact: We cannot hope to tackle this very serious problem unless our police are properly funded.
> We want to hear from you. We want you to write to our letters page, to tell us your views on why Bedfordshire Police deserves to be properly funded.
> We also want you to write to our MPs, councillors, and police and crime commissioner, urging them to support our campaign.
> Visit bedfordtoday.co.uk for campaign updates.