Police numbers down by a quarter, and crime up by a quarter, in Merseyside since 2010

24 Jun 2019

Birkenhead’s MP Frank Field is seeking an immediate increase in Government funding for Merseyside Police, on the back of data from the House of Commons Library showing that, between 2010 and 2018:

- The number of full time equivalent (FTE) police officers employed by Merseyside Police decreased by 24.5%; from 4,516, to 3,409. The average decrease across England and Wales was 14.8%.

- The number of reported crimes in Merseyside increased by 25%. The increases ranged from 50% in Wirral, to 34% in Halton, 26% in St Helens, 22% in Liverpool, 21% in Sefton, and 12% in Knowsley. 

Given that core grant funding from the Government, for Merseyside Police, has remained flat since 2015, Frank is requesting a meeting for Merseyside’s Chief Constable, with the Minister for Policing and Fire, in an attempt to gain much needed additional funds. He will also be accompanying officers on patrol in Birkenhead in September and submitting his findings to Parliament. Frank’s request follows a series of stabbings and shootings in the area.  

Earlier this year, Frank secured a meeting for Merseyside’s Chief Fire Officer, with the Minister. Shortly after that meeting, the Chief Fire Officer was able to announce plans to recruit additional firefighters and increase the number of fire engines. 

Frank comments: ‘Decent citizens across Merseyside are crying out for more bobbies on the beat. Our local Police forces have been decimated by cuts since 2010 and, despite officers doing the very best job they can with limited resources, crime still blights all too many of our communities.’

Alongside these efforts, Frank has busted open a secret mechanism for dealing with anti-social behaviour complaints, which has the potential to make a substantial difference to the quality of life of victims, but has been hidden away by the authorities for the past five years.

The Community Trigger, also known as the ASB Case Review, was introduced in 2014. It empowers victims of anti-social behaviour to insist on an investigation involving their local council, Police service, and housing provider, if they feel their case has not been adequately dealt with.

In Wirral, a review can be requested if a person has made three separate anti-social behaviour complaints in the past six months; if five people have made separate complaints in the last six months; or if one person has made a complaint about an incident or crime motivated by hate in the last six months.

Since 2014, however, there have only been two instances of the Community Trigger being used locally; one in Wallasey, and one in Eastham. It has not been used at all in Birkenhead.

Frank adds: ‘The Community Trigger provides the opportunity for individuals whose lives are being destroyed by anti-social behaviour to hold the agencies who are investigating their complaint to account. The Trigger is a neglected mechanism which needs to be properly tested to see if it has any teeth, or whether it needs strengthening.’

If you believe that you are eligible for a Community Trigger ASB Case Review, please contact the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team on neighbour.nuisance@wirral.gov.uk and copy in Frank on fieldf@parliament.uk.