MP Jonathan Reynolds ditched the green benches of parliament on Friday to join local police officers in Hyde and Stalybridge for their night shift. The Member of Parliament turned bobby for the night as Greater Manchester Police put him through his paces on a typically busy shift.
Jonathan Reynolds MP said, “I’ve always wanted to experience what life is like on the frontline of policing but was particularly keen to do so following the amount of anti-social behaviour and other crime we’ve been dealing with in the constituency this year. Both Hyde and Stalybridge have seen spikes of troubling behaviour, and it has a significant impact on residents, businesses and a town centre economies.”
Jonathan also wanted to see how the force is coping with reductions in spending levels.
“I wanted to experience first hand the challenges that come in on a Friday night and the resources the police have available to deal with them. I was really pleased to see the new shift system being trialled in Tameside and Oldham gives us more resources than other GM boroughs- well done to all who have led on this. It was stark to hear how extensive government cuts have affected the levels of service the police can provide though, and the conditions they have to work under. As of June 2018 there were 6,199 officers on the force and 4,129 staff. This represents a shocking 25% cut. There’s no way the police can be as visible and responsive as people had got used to in days gone by when there’s simply fewer of them.”
Incidents the MP encountered on his shift included a car seized for the driver having no insurance, a domestic violence call-out, and a vulnerable young person who was found and returned home.
The politician, responsible for Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Dukinfield and Longdendale, was impressed with the dedication, energy and professionalism of the police teams he worked with.
He said, “The police deal with a huge amount, and sometimes the work they’re doing can’t be fully revealed to the public. Between the neighbourhood teams who patrol the streets, to the response teams who respond to the 999 and 101 calls, and the desk staff who ensure smooth logistics and efficient communications, the amount being done to keep us safe is remarkable. I want to say a big thank you to the officers who showed me the ropes, and the rest of GMP for all their hard work. You do an incredible job despite the cuts and we the public would be lost without you.”