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Tory Ministers “failing to protect Blackpool” with further cuts of over £3 million to police funding says Gordon

Gordon has accused Tory Ministers of “failing to protect Blackpool” after figures revealed Lancashire Constabulary is to face further cuts of over £3 million (£3.097m) in real terms over the next 12 months.

Gordon, ahead of Labour challenging them on police cuts in today’s Commons debate, said: “Our police are at breaking point and further cuts of over £3 million for Lancashire this year will only worsen the situation here in Blackpool.

“Blackpool is a unique town with millions of visitors coming here all year around but we receive no extra resources to help with that. The Government are not just failing them but also the safety of local residents and the thousands of small businesses that serve the town.”

Despite having millions of visitors each year, Lancashire has been left with 799 fewer officers since 2010 - at a time when crime in the county has increased by 13%. The recent spike of attacks towards bus and taxi drivers and the continued presence at the Preston New Road fracking site have left the police at “breaking point”.

Gordon added: “Taxi drivers, small business owners and the local bus company have been contacting me for the last year about anti-social behaviour, including some groups of youths targeting them with stones and eggs. I and my office have raised these cases with the local police. They would be able to operate better if it wasn’t for the level of Government cuts.”

Since 2010, Lancashire has also lost 162 PCSOs and its neighbourhood policing cut back – a point Gordon made in his question to David Cameron on counter terrorism at PMQs in 2015. It’s nearly a year since the Manchester terror attacks and the Government have only put in half the funding the counter terror police had requested to combat the rise in the terror treat level.

Gordon also criticised the Tory Government’s decision to allow fracking on the Fylde but not contribute to the costs of policing the protests. Gordon spoke to the PCC Clive Grunshaw and Lancashire Chief Constable Andy Rhodes last year about the situation at Preston New Road. Gordon said: “I firmly believe that both the Home Office and Cuadrilla should be paying towards the costs of policing the site and not local residents.”

Speaking back in June last year, former Lancashire Chief Constable Steve Finnegan said: "I have always been pretty consistent about my views on the cuts and the scale and the pace of them have been too deep and too quick. I am saying now that the cracks are appearing.”

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