Ian Austin

Labour Candidate for Dudley North

Home

Recent Activity

Dudley MP Ian Austin has taken the West Midlands’ case for a fairer share of police spending straight to the top – raising it directly with the Home Secretary in Parliament this afternoon.

Austin used today’s session of the Home Affairs Select Committee to raise spending cuts to West Midlands Police that are set to result in the loss of 2,500 police officers.

The way the Government distributes police funding means the West Midlands receives a comparatively smaller share than other forces, despite higher levels of crime. The region has the second lowest council tax precept in the country which means it relies on central government funds more than other forces and a flat-rate national cut hits the West Midlands harder than elsewhere. As a result West Midlands Police is losing almost a quarter of its budget, while Surrey will see its budget fall by 12%.

Government spending cuts and the unfair distribution of funds are forcing West Midlands Police to axe 2,500 more officers in the next four years to save an extra £100 million – on top of the £126 million lost over the last five years.

A cross-party group of West Midlands MPs has written to the Home Secretary asking her to reconsider the national funding formula and ensure the West Midlands gets a fairer deal.

Speaking at a meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee of which he is a member, Austin asked the Home Secretary Theresa May if she would address concerns about police funding set out in a recent letter signed by West Midlands MPs of all parties.

The Home Secretary acknowledged that the West Midlands faced more severe cuts than other regions and said that the issue of police funding distribution “will need to be looked at”.

Ian Austin said:

“The Home Secretary acknowledges that West Midlands police funding is a problem, but she needs to take this much more seriously.

“We all know savings have to be made, but the government has cut spending too quickly and too deeply, and failing to introduce a fairer funding system is costing the West Midlands millions. Police officers are losing their jobs, police stations have closed and Dudley Police Station is still at risk.

“Local people want more police on the streets, more offenders brought before court and more criminals put in jail, so I’m fighting for the West Midlands to get a fairer share of police funding.”

Ian Austin's exchange with the Home Secretary Theresa May can be viewed here.

Austin demands Home Secretary acts over police cuts

Dudley MP Ian Austin has taken the West Midlands’ case for a fairer share of police spending straight to the top – raising it directly with the Home Secretary in...

Former army officer Dan Jarvis MP will be visiting a local cadet force and the Gornal British Legion.

Former army officer Dan Jarvis MP will be joining Dudley MP Ian Austin to visit the Cadet Force at Ellowes Hall Sports College at 11:40am on Monday 9 March.

At around 12.45, he’ll be calling in at Gornal British Legion to meet a group of local veterans.

Ellowes Hall is one of a handful of comprehensive schools across the country that runs its own detachment of the Army Cadet Force.

Students that join the Cadet Force complete training in activities such as first aid and shooting and take part in weekend camps and expeditions.

The scheme has been hailed as one factor in the school’s stunning GCSE results, with the number of students achieving grades A*-C trebling over the last few years.

Dan Jarvis is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Justice and MP for Barnsley East. Before becoming an MP he served in the Parachute Regiment rising the rank of Major across campaigns in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The MP praised the school’s cadets scheme for teaching its students values of discipline and hard work.

Ian Austin said:

“As a former army officer, Dan understands the importance of supporting the military better than anyone.

“It’s a great privilege to introduce him to the Cadet Force at Ellowes Hall and to local veterans at the Gornal British Legion.

“We owe those who have served in the armed forces an enormous debt of gratitude for fighting to uphold British values of democracy, freedom, fairness, equality and tolerance.

“I will keep working hard to speak up for the armed forces, as I have done in campaigning for Dudley’s TA squadron and fighting for a better deal for local veterans.”

Army veteran MP visits Dudley school cadet force and meets local veterans

Former army officer Dan Jarvis MP will be visiting a local cadet force and the Gornal British Legion.

A report prompted by magistrates in Dudley has shown that police cautions are used “inappropriately” in up to a third of cases.

The finding was revealed in a new report from MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee on the use of ‘out-of-court disposals’ including cautions, fines and community resolutions.

Austin asked the Home Affairs Select Committee of which he is a member to investigate the issue after Dudley magistrates told him that a rising number of crimes were never coming to court. Official figures for the West Midlands show that the number of offences brought to justice has fallen in the last year, with a third of offences never reaching court.

The report identifies significant variations in how and when out-of-court disposals are used across the country, with some police forces sending just three in ten cases to court.

Austin has called for victims of crime to have a say on how cautions are used and for tougher restrictions on when the police can use them instead of bringing cases to court.

Austin recently launched a campaign to keep Dudley Police Station open to the public, and previously launched a successful campaign to protect Dudley Magistrates Court.

Ian Austin said:

“I called for a report on this issue after local people and court magistrates told me that too many offenders are being given a slap on the wrist.

“Now this report confirms that up to a third of offenders should face tougher action.

“Police in Dudley work flat out to keep the public safe, but victims have to feel that justice is being done when cases don’t go to court.

“This is really important because local people want more police on the streets, more offenders brought before court and more criminals put in jail.”

The Home Affairs Select Committee Report on Out-of-Court Disposals can be read here.

Austin: Too many offenders given slap on the wrist

A report prompted by magistrates in Dudley has shown that police cautions are used “inappropriately” in up to a third of cases.


View More Activities

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.