Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has criticised George Osborne’s “dangerous” Police cut plans after confirming he will run for re-election in 2016.
Martin Surl says cuts over the last few years have damaged Gloucestershire’s police services and believes the Chancellors plans are bad news for the county.
Mr Surl was the independent elected as the county’s first police and crime commissioner in 2012 at a time when the Government’s police cuts were “damaging Gloucestershire” and he believes further cuts will be detrimental to the county’s police services.
He said: “Here in Gloucestershire we’ve lost over £20 million in the last 4 years; that’s been very challenging, but we’ve done it.
“To take potentially another £20 million out of our running costs is actually becoming quite dangerous. I would say particularly in the light of what’s happened in the last few weeks, it’s not what people want.
“Crime isn’t actually falling anymore, it’s just stabilising and demand on the police is high as ever.”
Surl, who retired from the Gloucestershire force after 32 years’ service, beat Conservative candidate Victoria Atkins by more than 4,000 votes in 2012.
However, the system has been controversial since its creation. Issues have included conflict between PCCs and chief constables, criticisms of PCC expenses, the cost of elections and low voter turnout.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, who created the system, admitted that the introduction of PCCs has seen mixed success.
Mr Surl, however, believes he has he is capable of managing Gloucestershire’s policing.
He said: “Without coming across as arrogant, in 2012 I came in to an empty office and ever since I’ve brought stability to the role.
“I hope the next election sees a higher voter turnout because I’ve been doing an important job. The fact that this was a new role meant I had to lay the groundwork before progress could be achieved, but If I got the chance to continue over the next four years I’d be able to achieve a lot.