Gun crime is on the rise across Merseyside with nearly 100 gun related crimes over the last 18 months. The police are doing all they can to tackle it before more people get hurt, but they are doing so in the face of £87million worth of cuts to their budget and the unprecedented loss of 1100 officers and staff with a further 540 jobs at risk.
Six weeks ago I arranged for Chief Constable Andy Cooke, Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy and a group of Merseyside MPs to meet with the Security Minister to discuss solutions to the gun crime problem. We told the Government that the police desperately needs additional funding to clamp down on guns, break up the gangs using them and divert young people away from crime. The Government promised that they would look at providing "a package of support" to give the police the extra resources they need.
However this week I received a letter from the Home Secretary Amber Rudd which revealed the Government is not going to do anything to help. You can read the letter in full here. The letter is a mealy-mouthed, long winded way of breaking the promises they made. Instead of offering practical, immediate help Mrs Rudd instead suggests that the police use a range of existing schemes that would take considerable time and money to implement.
Either the Government does not understand the scale of the gun crime problem in Liverpool or they simply do not care. Mrs Rudd has twiddled her thumbs all summer and come up with nothing to help the people of Merseyside.
I am extremely disappointing that the Government thinks it knows better than the Police Officers asking for extra help. I will not stop campaigning to get the funding needed to stop these shootings.