On Thursday 09 August, I spent a day with our local police force in Houghton as part of Give a Day to Policing, in order to learn more about the work they do to keep our community safe.

I’d like to thank Inspector Nick Gjorven and other police officers and staff for taking the time to show me round the Command Centre and visit local community projects. It is clear that they deal with highly challenging situations on a daily basis, and I was very impressed by the professionalism on display at all levels of our police force.

This was also an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing frontline policing – and it is clear that after eight years of financial pressure from central government, their jobs have only become more difficult.

Since 2010, government cuts have meant the numbers of police officers on our streets has decreased every year. Northumbria Police has had its funding cut by 23% since 2010, which is more than any other police force in England and Wales – and in the last five years alone, the number of neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs has dropped by 36%.

Despite these pressures, our police work immensely hard around the clock to keep us safe – often putting themselves in harm’s way – and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication and service.

It is only right that the government supports them – and I will do all I can in Parliament to ensure that our police have the resources they need in order to tackle crime and protect our community.

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