Bassetlaw MP John Mann caused a stir in Parliament this morning (Wednesday 8th January 2014) during Prime Minister’s Question Time.
The labour politician, who has represented Bassetlaw for 12 years, asked the Conservative leader about police in Bassetlaw using public transport to patrol their beat areas in Carlton and Langold. See the story here: http://www.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/carlton-and-langold-police-hop-on-the-buses-1-6357210
Said Mr Mann: “Government cuts having closed the police cells in Bassetlaw, I now discover the police are having to partol villages using public transport, which begs the question I’d like to ask the Prime Minister.”
“If the police are waiting at the bus stop, having arrested someone, should they go upstairs, should they go down stairs or should they not arrest at all?”
The question prompted an extended period of rowdy laughter and banter from the benches.
David Cameron responded by saying that crime in the Bassetlaw Community Safety Partnership had gone down 27 per cent.
He also criticised the labour party for complaining about the need to make non-departmental spending cuts.
Said Mr Cameron: “We are back to where we were three years ago when we said we have to make difficult decisions. It may be the New Year but it’s the same old Labour party.”
Mr Mann has since demanded that the Prime Minister retracts his ‘misleading claim’ about crime levels and ‘properly address the original issue’.
He said: “The Prime Minister claimed that crime has gone down in Bassetlaw by 27 per cent. The figures show a different story - crime in my constituency is rising, and has done so by 2 per cent since April compared to the previous year.”
Mr Mann said he has raised the issue as a point of order with the Speaker in the chamber.
He continued: “Today I wanted to take the Prime Minister to task for the absurd situation we currently have in Bassetlaw.”
“Police officers are forced to take the bus instead of a patrol car to their beat area – and on one recent occasion the bus broke down and it took two-and-a-half hours for the police to begin their beat.”
“This not only wastes police time, but puts local residents at an increased risk of being the victims of crime.”
“It is another symptom of the effect of the cuts to police resources. We already have a G4S caravan replacing our police cells.”
“I am now demanding that the Prime Minister retract his misleading claim, and properly address my original issue.”