March 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Today, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, released figures showing that South Wales Police (SWP) is the most consistently underfunded police force in the UK.

The figures uncovered in a Parliamentary Question from Miss Willott, show central government funding for each police force since 2000 and reveal that:

• SWP received just £97.25m in 2008-09 in central funding.

• This is an increase of just £13m (or 15%) since 2000, the smallest increase of any police force.

• The average police force grant has seen an increase of 37% over this period.

• A 37% increase for SWP would see its Central Government funding rise to £115.5m; £18.2m more than today.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"This is a shocking set of figures and underlines just how unfairly treated South Wales Police has been treated by this Government.

"South Wales Police is by far and away the most consistently underfunded force in the country. If they had received the average funding increase, South Wales Police would be receiving over £18m more today than it actually is.

"The funding shortfall is compounded by the Government's decision to reallocate police grant funding meant for South Wales to other Welsh forces, instead of giving them a proper central allocation too.

"Systematically short-changing any police force is a deeply irresponsible gamble with crime and public safety. The people of South Wales deserve to have properly resourced police force fit for the 21st century."

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