GM Police facing £6.93m real-term cut

Greater Manchester Police are facing a real-term cut of £6.93m next year, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

Before Christmas the government announced that core funding for police budgets will remain exactly the same as last year. Taking into account inflation, that means Greater Manchester Police will face a real-terms cut of £6.93m.

GM Police Face More Real-Term Cuts

 

The additional £270m of funding the government claims to be investing in the police nationally depends entirely on local Police and Crime Commissioners raising the police precept in their areas, which the Liberal Democrats have branded a “stealth council tax rise”.

Lib Dem Councillor for Hazel Grove, Jon Twigge commented:

“We have been having quite an anti social behaviour problem here in Hazel Grove over the last few months. The police tell me they don’t have the numbers to get out on the street to stop it quickly. Instead, our hard working local officers have to follow an intelligence led approach which they say does work well but it takes a lot longer. These latest cuts are not going to help!”

Senior police officers have been calling for increases in investment for our police but the Conservative government seem to have ignored them yet again.

Cllr Mark Hunter, leader of Stockport Lib Dem Group said “I’m genuinely shocked that Ministers are ignoring the alarming rise in serious crime with this short-sighted decision.”

Have Your Say on Community Policing

The Manchester Mayor is currently developing a new police and crime plan which will set the strategic direction for the police and other organisations with responsibilities for keeping our communities safe. The name of the draft plan is ‘Standing Together: A Plan for police, community safety, criminal justice services and citizens in Greater Manchester’ which reflects the range of people and organisations working together to keep us safe.

The draft plan has been developed by talking to people working in neighbourhoods, those who have been victims of crime and the people who support them, businesses and various organisations active within Greater Manchester’s different communities.

Please visit their website to view the draft police and crime plan and to take part in a short survey to let us know

They don’t ask for your name and so all responses are confidential. The survey will close at midnight on 14 January 2018.

All your responses will be used to finalise the plan, which will be published later in January 2018. If you have any questions about the draft plan, please email [email protected]

Call to Tackle Police 101 Line Delays

Stockport Liberal Democrats are calling for action to make it easier to report non-emergency crimes in a motion at Stockport Full Council. If passed, the motion will see Stockport Council writing to Mayor Andy Burnham, who is responsible for policing in Greater Manchester, calling for a review into how the system can be improved.

In 2017 it can’t be right that our only option for reporting non-emergency crimes is to call 101 and wait on the phone – sometimes for an hour or more. Greater Manchester Police’s own figures show that 23% of 101 calls were abandoned in June of this year, up from 17% in May.

“According to the UK Police website 101 is the number to call when it is less urgent than for a 999 call – but that shouldn’t mean you are left hanging without an answer at all”, said Cllr Jon Twigge.

Update: The Lib Dem motion on Thursday night (26/10/2017) passed with an amendment extending it so Stockport Council will be officially writer to the Mayor of Manchester asking him to improve the police 101 line response times.

Unstaffed Rail Stations could Become Crime Spots

As rail strikes continue in Greater Manchester the RMT, which represents many rail workers, claims that some unstaffed rail stations could become crime hotspots if plans to remove guards from some trains goes ahead.

The RMT press statement says there are 330 unstaffed stations around the country – around 30 in Greater Manchester. Is it right to intervene asking for guards to be retained or should the deal be left to the rail companies, in theory helping them to keep rail travel costs lower?

 

                                           Hazel Grove Station

Hazel Grove Station is staffed with the ticket office open till early evening in the week:
Monday 06:05-19:00
Friday 06:05-20:00
Saturday 07:00-20:00
Sunday 09:00-16:30

The press statement continues:

Although these stations are currently unstaffed, protection and assistance for passengers and the train driver at stations is provided by the Guard who is on all trains.

Northern is planning for at least 50% of services to have no Guards with many lines and routes completely unstaffed. RMT is warning that removing the guard from trains which will then also travel through 330 unstaffed stations will result in a cocktail of dangers where passengers and the train driver are more exposed to crime and anti – social behaviour while disabled and older passengers will not be able to get on and off the train when they wish to.

“No staff on many routes and lines, no staff on the stations and no staff on the trains travelling through these stations means there will be a cocktail of dangers at the locations we have identified which will increasingly become no-go areas for vulnerable passengers and new crime hot spots. At the same time our isolated drivers will be on their own, increasingly exposed to anti-social and violent behaviour.

“As well as these dangers there will be also be disadvantages for disabled and older passengers who require assistance because there will be no one there to help them on and off the train or provide assistance during their journey.

 

Criminal Minds: Cons Reveal top deterrents for thieves

Co-op Insurance have released a study of ex-convicts which show which measures you can take that will deter thieves.

LibDem Campaigner Paul Ankers works for Co-op Insurance but thought the study would be useful for Hazel Grove residents. “Crime is up and local people are concerned. Police and politicians should do more, but it is good to know as a homeowner what I can do.”

 

Top 10 deterrents for home thieves: Top 10 deterrents for car thieves:
1. CCTV 1. CCTV street camera
2. Sound of a barking dog 2. Car alarm
3. Strong heavy doors 3. Street Lighting
4. TV which is switched on 4. Cars parked on a driveway
5. Locked UPV windows 5. Newer car
6. Cars parked on a driveway 6. Steering lock device
7. Overlooked property 7. Older car
8. Surrounding fences 8. Neighbourhood Watch areas
9. Gates outside the property 9. Car parked on a dark alleyway
10. Motion activated security lights

Road Sign Thief in the Area?

Local LibDem Paul Ankers was alerted by local residents to a couple of road signs abandoned in the ward.*

However, neither Barlow Lane South nor Chestnut Ave are in the ward. Paul has alerted Police and is working with them to identify the culprit or culprits.

Paul Ankers said, “These road signs are paid for by our Council Tax but the thievery is just vandalism. The signs are abandoned on public land.”

*We are not naming the location the signs are dumped at this stage.

Over half of 101 calls not being answered

A survey by the Liberal Democrats has found that 53% of people who called 101 – the non-emergency Police phone number – gave up before speaking to the Police.

Most people who did get through waited for more than five minutes, with some waiting for 30 minutes or more for the call to be answered.

The scale of the problem was uncovered by Claire Halliwell, Stockport Liberal Democrat spokesperson on crime.

“Thousands of crimes are going unrecorded and people are wasting hours sitting on the phone. It also means the Police are missing half the picture on crime. Important intelligence is being missed, meaning the Police may not be targeting their efforts efficiently,” said Claire.

Hazel Grove LibDem Paul Ankers said, “The cuts are biting, crime is up around here by 20% in the last two years. Cutting funding for the 101 number is a false economy. The public deserve access to policing”

Recent Thefts From Motor Vehicles in Hazel Grove

Greater Manchester Police tell us that there have been a spate of thefts from cars in Hazel Grove in the last few days.

Please take extra care not to leave valuables in view or leave the glove box open in your car.

If you want some more tips to keep your car and valuables safe from theft there is a lot of information on the internet like this page: http://vincheckreport.com/post/precaution-and-prevention-tips-against-motor-vehicle-theft/

 

See Crime Levels In Your Postcode Area

The Manchester Evening News has brought out a nice tool that allows you to compare crime in your postcode area to the rest of the country – you can try it here.

Here are two examples from either end of the A6 in Hazel Grove:

Simpsons Corner, near the start of the new road to the airport:

simpsons corner crime

Around Stepping Hill Hospital:

stepping_hill_crime

What are the areas?

When you get crime figures like this, it’s not the figures for your road but for the area around it. It’s based on something called a Local layer Super Output Area – which is used by Government statisticians.

Say you want to know what the hospital area covers – that’s given on the MEN website as “Stockport 027B”. So you can Google “Stockport 027B LSOA” and there’s a site called doogal.co.uk which will show you a map that looks something like this.

stepping_hill_lsoa