Walsall Labour have welcomed the support of the Conservative candidate for the role of deputy Police Commissioner for their campaign against the wholesale privatisation of the police services.
Tory candidate, Mohammad Arif, joined councillors at Monday night’s full council meeting to vote unanimously for a Labour motion calling on all candidates in November’s Police Commissioners election to oppose the transfer police services to the private sector.
The vote, which was moved and seconded by Labour Cllrs Mohammad Nazir and Sean Coughlan, was carried overwhelmingly with no opposition.
Labour Group Leader on Walsall Council, Cllr Tim Oliver, said that the vote reflected the very real fears of the public as well as police officers and staff at the prospect of handing over services to companies like G4S; who had notoriously failed to fulfil their contract to supply security guards for the 2012 Olympics.
“The fact that our motion was accepted with no opposition shows how members across all parties are concerned at the levels of the government cuts to the Police service and the plans to use private companies in order to save money.
“It’s more remarkable given that Cllr Mohammad Arif, the official Conservative candidate for the role of deputy Police Commissioner, came out publicly to vote for a Labour motion.”
The extraordinary political vote came as West Midlands police revealed cuts of £7 million with the loss of 92 frontline officers and 13 police staff – and with more to come.
Cllr Oliver added: “The level of these cuts is frightening and although the coalition government can’t or won’t see the danger this is creating, even Tories are standing up to oppose these plans.”