City MP welcomes Minister to meeting with small businesses in Portsmouth

Policing Minister Nick Hurd visits city at invitation of Stephen Morgan MP in latest development in campaign to cut crime in city

 

Stephen Morgan MP today met with Policing and Fire Minister, Rt Hon Nick Hurd, alongside local business owners and police officers in Southsea as he seeks a fairer funding deal for Portsmouth.

The meeting at Southsea Coffee on Osborn Road, a business directly affected by rising crime in the city, comes after Stephen invited the Minister down to Portsmouth to see and hear first-hand the challenges police and those they serve are facing as a result of government cuts.

Topics of discussion included the importance of diversionary activities for young people and continuing concerns about the short-staffing of local police. Local businesses demanded more transparency from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, as he implements unprecedented Government cuts to the force.

Portsmouth has seen crime rise by 10% at the same time Hampshire has lost 1,000 police officers. Local businesses suffered over 200 break-ins in the last year at huge cost to both themselves and the local economy.

A delegation of Portsmouth businesses affected by crime in the city last met with Minister Hurd in early March, after the Portsmouth South MP raised the issue directly with the Prime Minister at Question Time.

Thanks to the teamwork of  Stephen Morgan, local businesses, and police, business break-ins have seen a reduction in recent months.

 

Stephen has recently written to the new Home Secretary to ask for cuts to frontline policing to be reversed and for Hampshire Constabulary to be granted a fairer share of shrinking Government funding. Regrettably, he has yet to receive a reply.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

 

‘It’s really important that, as MP for our great city, I get Ministers to come down and see for themselves the impact their decisions have. I’m grateful to the Minister for taking the time to join me and local businesses and officers here in Portsmouth.

Our city’s small businesses and police officers continue to be put under immense pressure from the Tories. You can’t cut 1,000 officers at a time when crime is rising and expect local people to suffer no consequences. The Government must realise that you can’t do safety on the cheap – the business owners I’ve met know this all too well.

Portsmouth works best when we work together. Local businesses and police in our city have now established a partnership that I hope can provide a sustainable framework for community safety in the future.’

Stephen has called on the Police and Crime Commissioner, who recently lost a landslide vote of no confidence undertaken by the Police Federation, to use reserves to invest in frontline policing in Portsmouth to tackle local priorities.

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