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Cuts to police are concerning amid crime rise, warns SKDC councillor

A councillor says he has concerns about police cuts and rising crime across South Kesteven.

Councillor Phil Dilks (Ind) was speaking at a full meeting of South Kesteven District Council on Thursday.

He told the meeting that according to official police figures for February this year, there was one violent and sexual offence reported for every day of the month, up from less than one a week in February last year.

Coun Phil Dilks (10453753)
Coun Phil Dilks (10453753)

Although it was announced this week that 30 more police officers and additional PCSOs would be recruited following a Home Office grant, the reality is fewer officers in total as cuts were already made.

Coun Dilks tabled a motion calling for the council’s chief executive, Aidan Rave, to write to local MPs outlining the concerns and lobbying for further funding to stop current reductions of officer numbers.

He said: “Lincolnshire has the poorest funding for policing in the country.

“There are about 150 fewer police officers patrolling our county than we had just a few years ago.

“Right now, Lincolnshire Police are in the process of cutting 40 full-time officers from our streets.

“My concern is that as these police officers are being cut, crime is rising, not just in my patch but in South Kesteven.

“This is not the time we should be cutting them.

“We should be tackling these cuts and tackling the rise in crime.

“It’s about our communities.”

Coun Charmaine Morgan (Lab) also said crime had increased in her Grantham St Vincent’s Ward and spoke of how local residents had taken to installing CCTV at their homes following issues at a house in multiple

“Anti-social behaviour is up 21.5 per cent. We have seen a rise in issues,” she said.

But Ray Wootten (Con) pointed out that Lincolnshire is relatively safe, compared to where he used to police in Luton.

He said the public need to help the police by calling 101 to report issues.

The motion was defeated by 38 votes to 12 after a recorded vote.

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