UNISON slams police and crime commissioner for turning down £2.3m

UNISON police members in Wales are angry that Dyfed Powys police and crime commissioner Christopher Salmon has refused £2.3 million funding when police services are already suffering from budget cuts.

The Westminster government has been slashing police sector budgets and within Wales, the Welsh government has tried to lessen the impact of the worst excesses, but police services are directly governed from Whitehall and have been struggling to implement 20% budget cuts.

As a result almost 300 police staff posts have been scrapped and the remaining staff have lost certain terms or conditions.

Police staff are angry that Mr Salmon has forgone a 5% police precept rate in talks with local council leaders over this year’s council tax.

This decision means a further £2.3m has to be found on top of all the other cuts. Mr Salmon’s justification for his decision is that Dyfed Powys police have a large financial reserve.

UNISON regional organiser Glyn Jones  said: “If there was substantial money there, then UNISON would have demanded that it be used to offset police staff losing their jobs.

“When we examined the amount, a lot was already allocated and the remainder would not have a long term effect on the annual wage bill.

“Mr Salmon has put his political dogma before his responsibility as police and crime commissioner for Dyfed Powys.

“He didn’t consult or talk to anyone. It appears he did this off his own bat and he needs to go back quickly and undo the damage he has caused to the local police service.”