In recent years, police numbers have fallen and crime has risen, whilst the Conservative Government has slashed policing budgets in Devon and Cornwall by £63m since 2010.

Forcing our dedicated police officers to do more for less just isn’t working. The number of police officers in our area has fallen with official government figures reporting we now have nearly 600 fewer officers since 2010, and a staggering 21,339 fewer in England in Wales in total.

The consequences of cuts are increasingly evident in our communities. Latest crime statistics show that violent crime is up 17% from January 2018 to December 2018, and robbery was up by nearly 15%. Alarmingly, drug trafficking offences were up by over a quarter. In 2018 many residents contacted me following serious and violent crimes in Southway and Whitleigh. I know our local force are doing all they can to provide the best possible service to the public under increasingly challenging circumstances.

We can’t allow this Government to keep forgetting our communities nor allow our hard-working police officers and staff to work under this continued pressure.

Plymouth’s communities deserve better – and the police want to deliver. In order to do that, we need to sort a proper funding settlement from from Government, rather than a quick funding fix which puts the burden yet again on council tax increases, to help our police force do their job to keep us safe .