A big thanks to those who have taken part in our recent campaign to highlight the problems faced by local police. You have told us of your concerns that the police seem to have disappeared from the local streets - and you don't know how to contact them.
Our Liberal Democrat crime survey found overwhelming dissatisfaction with the level of local policing and also raised serious questions about the 101 helpline used by police forces. Your local Liberal Democrats are pressing for action to stop the collapse of community policing, warning that effective local policing is vital for effective crime prevention.
The survey found that just 2.5% of people are "very satisfied" with police visibility in their area. In contrast 35.5% said they were "very dissatisfied". Amongst those who had used the 101 service over half said the service was unhelpful, they couldn't get an answer, never heard back or that nothing happened.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Ian Garrett said “The results are disturbing. Neighbourhood policing is vital to crime prevention. It is also an open secret that the police officers on neighbourhood police teams now spend most of their time on paperwork, rather than being out and about in their communities. There are few police stations open and there are no local phone lines, only the 101 service if you can get through and even then there is no guarantee of any help”
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to invest more in local policing and for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to examine the roles of police community support officers and of the 101 service.
Colin Green added “Local policing is essential in reducing crime, gathering intelligence and reassuring the community. There are fewer officers now than ever has been in the history of West Midlands Police and yet their workload has increased, we need more investment to make our streets safer.”