Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock, has expressed his frustration about serious fundamental flaws in proposed changes to the way in which money is allocated to police forces in England and Wales. Tory Police Minister, Mike Penning, was forced to apologise to the House when it was revealed that the plans contained serious statistical errors which would have had major consequences for police forces across England and Wales. The proposals met with opposition from Tory and Labour MPs, as well as Police and Crime Commissioners, 6 of whom had threatened the Home Office with legal action if the plans went ahead.
The plans, which were due to have taken effect in 2016/17, have now been delayed, although Mr Penning has not indicated how long for.
Mr Kinnock had previously come under fire from Mr Penning, who accused him of ‘running down the excellent work that the police force does’ when he raised concerns about how the Government would protect police services in Wales in the face of budget cuts.
Mr Kinnock said,
“The way the Government has handled this whole process has been shambolic. Using the flawed calculations 31 of the 43 police forces in the UK would have lost money, with South Wales Police worse off by £15.5 million and Wales as a whole by £48.1 million. This has obviously caused a great deal of worry for police forces already labouring under swingeing cuts to their budgets, and it is deeply concerning that the Home Office first made these serious errors, and then failed to recognise them and bring them to light much earlier in the process.”