How spate of crime left Bedfordshire police with no one left to cover incidents 

A police force ‘literally ran out of officers’ and was unable to cover incidents after a spate of crime in the county, MPs heard.  

On Sunday September, 16 last year, three gangs armed with knives and bats clashed outside a takeaway shop in Luton, leaving one teenager with critical injuries.

A 16-year-old was murdered in Bedford, only hours before the takeaway clash.

A police force 'literally ran out of officers' and was unable to cover incidents after a spate of crime in the county, MPs heard.   Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police, Jon Boutcher  (pictured) highlighted the demand on his force in a letter to Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire Andrew Selous

A police force 'literally ran out of officers' and was unable to cover incidents after a spate of crime in the county, MPs heard.   Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police, Jon Boutcher  (pictured) highlighted the demand on his force in a letter to Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire Andrew Selous

A police force ‘literally ran out of officers’ and was unable to cover incidents after a spate of crime in the county, MPs heard.   Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police, Jon Boutcher  (pictured) highlighted the demand on his force in a letter to Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire Andrew Selous

On the same day Bedfordshore Police officers were called out to HMP Bedford to deal with rioting at the jail and they were also investigating four rapes. 

Details about the day the force was so stretched were revealed in the House of Commons yesterday, as MPs agreed a £970million funding boost for the police.

Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police, Jon Boutcher told Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire Andrew Selous about the demand on his force in a letter.

Details about the day the force was so stretched were revealed in the House of Commons yesterday, as MPs agreed a £970million funding boost for the police. Stock picture shows a policeman

Details about the day the force was so stretched were revealed in the House of Commons yesterday, as MPs agreed a £970million funding boost for the police. Stock picture shows a policeman

Details about the day the force was so stretched were revealed in the House of Commons yesterday, as MPs agreed a £970million funding boost for the police. Stock picture shows a policeman

Mr Selous told MPs before funding was approved: ‘The chief constable wrote to me to say on one Sunday – the 16th of September last year – the force literally ran out of officers.

‘They had to deal with seven teenagers stabbed in Luton, four rapes, five prison officers being assaulted at Bedford prison, a fatality in a road incident, a 16-year-old being murdered in Bedford, and gunshot wounds coming into Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

‘That was a particularly demanding Sunday, but that level is not unusual as far as Bedfordshire is concerned.’ Politicians last night approved Mr Javid’s funding plan for England and Wales’ police forces.’

In the debate Home Secretary Sajid Javid played down links between rising violent crime and dwindling police numbers.  

Next year’s funding increase for the police will be the biggest it has had since 2010. 

Mr Javid said the impact of the increase ‘will be immense’.

In the debate Home Secretary Sajid Javid played down links between rising violent crime and dwindling police numbers.

In the debate Home Secretary Sajid Javid played down links between rising violent crime and dwindling police numbers.

In the debate Home Secretary Sajid Javid played down links between rising violent crime and dwindling police numbers.

He added that officers ‘will be able to prevent more crimes and deliver better outcomes for victims’.

The Home Secretary told the House of Commons: ‘We have seen in recent years an increase in certain types of crime but I think it would be too lazy of any of us to attribute that just to one factor. I do recognise resources are an important issue and that’s why we’re giving this record settlement today.

‘I vow to give police the powers and resources they need to keep our communities safe.’ 

 Many forces, which are finaliasing their budgets this week, are able to raise their council tax precepts by an average of £24 a year.

And a lot of forces are expected to state how many officers that they wish to hire.  

Ministers expect this to raise around £509million. 

Central funds will also increase budgets by £161million.

Another £153million is going to be  allocated to tackle a growing pension crisis. 

Tory MP Richard Drax, who represents South Dorset, fears more frontline officers will be cut unless extra cash is found by ministers.

He said during the debate in the House of Commons: ‘The worrying fact is that unless [there is] more money for the police in Dorset in the mid-term, more frontline officers might have to go and this is unacceptable to me and my constituents. 

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