Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has welcomed the announcement of much-needed additional Government funding to tackle ASB and for three youth services in Liverpool, but says the money is “too little, too late” to tackle the issues created by 13 years of austerity.
Ministers have announced they will provide two years of funding to Merseyside to introduce new measures focused on punishing offenders of ASB and making them repair the damage they have caused. Additional funding has also been awarded to three youth services in Liverpool.
While welcoming the desperately needed extra money for the region, the Police Commissioner says after more than decade of austerity, today’s announcement barely “scratches the surface” of the issue and does not go far enough to tackle the root causes of offending.
Instead, the Police Commissioner says the Government needs to commit to providing long-term, sustained investment in young people and families across the entire region to prevent ASB in the first place.
There is also still no news on replacing Merseyside Police’s 450 missing officers, despite repeated calls from the region’s Police Commissioner.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “I always welcome any much-needed additional funding for our region, but today’s announcement is simply too little, too late.
“After 13 years of savage cuts to policing and our community safety partners, the ASB which is blighting our communities is a problem of the Government’s own making. Yet this money will barely scratch the surface. They are trying to put a sticking plaster on what is a deep-rooted and serious issue.
“ASB is not low level. It has a hugely detrimental impact on our communities and people on Merseyside have told me they want it dealing with as a priority.
“If we are genuinely going to change things for the better for our communities, we need our missing 450 police officers back, so can continue to build back up our neighbourhood teams.
“Crucially, we also need serious, long-term, sustained investment in the wider intervention work with partners which is focused on giving young people better opportunities and preventing them getting drawn into ASB in the first place.
“This investment should be provided for all areas of Merseyside, and it should be allocated after proper engagement with local leaders so we can ensure every penny is maximised for the benefit of communities across our region.
“I will work closely with partners to make sure the money we have been awarded is used as carefully as possible to build stronger, safer communities across Merseyside.”