Speaking at the Welsh Conservative Party Conference at the weekend, North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood spoke out against the devolution of policing and emphasised that crime in Wales fell by 9% last year.
He said: “The Labour Welsh Government believes that a devolved Criminal Justice system should form part of the long term vision of Welsh Governance – and Plaid Cymru believe there should be a transfer of powers over justice as a whole, including Police, Prosecution, Probation, Prison, and Young Justice.
“Welsh Conservatives believe that the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners marked an act of real devolution, empowering local communities to have their say on Policing priorities and to hold an elected representative to account.
“We have not seen any evidence which leads us to support the devolution of Policing or Criminal Justice and we are concerned that the devolution of Policing could compromise cross-border working between Police forces. Quite frankly the thought of a Welsh Police Force under the state Socialist control of the First Minister of Blame, Carwyn Jones, or Loony Leanne Wood, absolutely terrifies me.”
He added: “Labour and Plaid Cymru have said that UK Police Reforms and Budget Reductions would mean higher crime, but recorded crime is down more than 10% under this UK Government and people’s experience of crime has fallen to its lowest level since the Crime Survey for England and Wales began.
“Crime in Wales fell 9% last year, with the biggest drop in Gwent, down 17%, followed by drops of 8% in North Wales, 6% in Dyfed Powys and 5% in South Wales.
“However, only this month a Labour AM responded to new figures showing a 10% fall in crime in Wrexham by warning that this fall in crime could be short lived if planned Budget cuts go ahead, even though the budget cuts were implemented from 2010.
“Shadow UK Policing Minister David Hanson has criticised police budget reductions, despite Labour backing equivalent cuts.
"Labour planned cuts of around 12%, and Labour’s March 2010 UK budget had included police funding reductions of £545 million by 2014.
"But Labour has also supported savings proposed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Constabulary (HMIC) and the Police Arbitration Tribunal which essentially match the UK Government’s own plans to make savings from police budgets over this parliament.”