Police funding delay announcement branded 'unacceptable'
The Government has been accused of being consumed by Brexit after it pulled a crucial announcement on police funding.
Forces in England and Wales were due to find out today whether they would receive a cash boost from the Government as part of the 2019-20 police funding grant settlement.
But Home Secretary Sajid Javid's Commons announcement was postponed so the current Brexit debate could continue. The Express & Star understands it will now be made at some point next week.
Labour's former shadow policing minister Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, said: “This Government is abjectly failing to make the big decisions this country needs.
"All consumed by its abysmal failure to negotiate a Brexit deal, it has now pulled the announcement of funding for our increasingly stretched police service.
“The police desperately need funding to keep the public safe and certainty over how many officers they can recruit going forward. This delay is simply unacceptable.”
This year's funding settlement is considered particularly crucial, with violent crime rising and many forces saying they are struggling to cope with low officer numbers and scant resources.
West Midlands Police has lost £175 million in funding and more than 2,000 officers in the last eight years, a situation the force's Chief Constable Dave Thompson says has meant the force was no longer pursuing crimes for which no suspect could be found.
The force also faces a pensions bill of more than £20m which could see a loss of 500 officers.
The announcement is expected to see police chiefs given the green light to increase council tax to pay for extra funding.
It is not the first time the Government has delayed an issue relating to law and order. In October a Commons debate on banning offensive weapons was pushed back after a Brexit debate dragged on.