Conservatives oppose Labour’s police funding cut
At last night’s Council budget meeting Greenwich Conservatives opposed Labour’s cut to police funding.
In previous years the Council had agreed funding for the Violent and Organised Crime Unit (VOCU) which was a specialist police unit aimed at tackling organised crime. Last March, the Council the budget report stated that “A further allocation of £350k will allow the unit to continue for a further year”. All members of the Council present voted to support the extra funds being allocated to the VOCU. This year (in the budget report presented to Council on 29th February) no funds have been allocated to the fund the VOCU, meaning that Councillors are agreeing to its closure in 2012-13.
At the Council meeting Conservative Councillors moved an amendment to the budget to allocate funds to the VOCU from the Council Tax freeze grant provided by the government this year. However, the Labour Group, voted against the amendment, seemingly ignorant of the effect their vote was going to have.
Leader of the Conservative Group Councillor Spencer Drury said “Every year since it was created Council has been specifically asked to approve funds for this highly successful police unit. By failing to provide funds for the VOCU in the Council’s budget report, the Labour Party in Greenwich is effectively cutting the unit as it will not be possible to support it in 2012-13. This is a stealth cut and I think that the Labour Cabinet were simply hoping that no one would notice their plans.”
“Having caught them red-handed, I hope that they will see sense and reinstate funding for the police unit. The VOCU has helped reduce crime across the borough and this smash and grab raid on their funding makes a mockery of Labour claims that they would increase police numbers across London.”