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Tuesday 15th January 2013 | 11:32
Plaid Cymru press release
Plaid Cymru's Elfyn Llwyd MP has warned the UK Government that it risks prompting a crisis within the police service by cutting starting salaries and forcing many forces to freeze recruitment, leading to a huge shortage of young officers.
Mr Llwyd said that police forces throughout the UK are already under great pressure, attempting to juggle cuts to budgets and consequently a drop in personnel while trying to maintain a high standard of policing and ensuring public safety.
Mr Llwyd said:
"Over the weekend we heard that there has been a significant drop in the number of officers under the age of 26 serving throughout UK forces due to recruitment freezes, with north Wales seeing the second highest drop of a staggering 71% since 2009.
"Today, the Home Secretary has announced that police officers' starting salary will be cut by 17% to £19,000. These repeated attacks on funding for vital public services are counter-productive and grossly unfair.
"“The police service throughout the UK does a fantastic job but both the reputation of these forces and the safety of communities are in jeopardy due to the Coalition's unsustainable budget cuts and proposed changes in working practices which will undermine the morale of hard-working officers.
"Once again, the London government has shown that its priorities are driven by ideology, not principle.
“This is a historical low in terms of Government’s lack of respect for the police service and it will have far-reaching consequences including making it more difficult for the police to ensure that they are able to deal with crime and public order.
"Devolving policing powers from Westminster to Wales – a longstanding Plaid Cymru policy - would increase the accountability of the Welsh Government while strengthening the democratic process through allowing those who govern Wales to make the decisions which directly impact its people."