Over the next week I will be joining South Yorkshire police officers in and around Barnsley, to get a better understanding of their job and how the proposed cuts really will affect frontline services.
I have always been an admirer of the police. Having served on the frontline myself, I understand the difficulties that they face on a day-to-day basis. Today in Barnsley, we are extremely fortunate to have men and women who are putting themselves and their personal safety on the line to ensure our communities are kept safe.
The dangers that our police continually face, is perhaps not highlighted as often as it should be. From domestic violence and public brawls, through to riots and knife and gun crime, police officers go to work each day knowing that there is a real element of danger in what they do. And yet there is defiance amongst them. Defiance to ensure that our streets are kept safe and where possible crime is prevented as well as ensuring criminals are brought to justice.
As an MP I have sat in the Chamber of the House of Commons over the last few months and listened to the debates. I have listened as the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have tried to defend their decision to ignore the advice of her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary. I have listened as the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have told the country that the answer to our policing problems lies in spending £25million on elected police commissioners.
Well, this week, I’m going to find out for myself.