Wirral MP calls on government to reimburse the police for Covid-19 costs
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15 Jul 2020
Margaret Greenwood MP has called on the government to provide extra funding to Merseyside Police in light of increased costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy estimates that the cost of the pandemic to the force is £4.1 million, due to overtime, the cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), specialist cleaning and lost income.
Margaret Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, highlighted the additional strain on Merseyside Police who have been working hard to respond to the concerns of local residents about crowds on beaches and in parks, particularly in coastal areas like West Kirby and Caldy which have seen huge numbers of visitors arrive in search of relaxation and exercise in recent weeks.
Responding for the government, Kit Malthouse, the Minister for Crime and Policing, said that: “…there are obviously extra costs for policing with covid-19, and we are in conversation with the Treasury about how we might address them.”
Speaking after her intervention in Parliament, Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“It is important that the government reimburses Merseyside Police for the extra costs that they have incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have received numerous emails and calls from constituents who have been concerned about large numbers of people gathering in local beauty spots, particularly as lockdown has eased.
“It is vital that Merseyside Police and other forces across the country have the resources that they need so that they can respond to people’s concerns and keep our communities safe.
"Between 2010 and 2019 the Conservative government cut Merseyside Police's budget by over £130 million and we lost more than 1,000 officers locally as a result of those government cuts. Now the force is under additional pressure from Covid-19.
“I am glad that the minister recognises there are extra costs for policing at this time. The government must now back up its words with actions.”