Today’s edition of Good Morning Britain saw presenters Jeremy, 53, and Kate Garraway, 51, interviewing the constable over the latest figures which reveal one in three bobbies on the beat have been axed in England and Wales.
But the discussion turned heated on the ITV morning programme when chat show host Jeremy insisted the constable “should mind” the government aren’t providing “enough money” to make the job manageable.
Kate started the conversation by recognising the challenge and impossible job for Simon leading his local police force, but she wasn’t afraid to get to the point.
“But isn’t the truth if you were really asked, you’d rather have more people on the street you just haven’t got the money?” she asked.
Simon admitted from 2010 and having a solid 2300 officers out on the beat, he is now simply trying to get back up to 1000, which is a “significant reduction”.
As a result, the constable said a refocusing of the police resources is needed, particularly when there is such a range of things to deal with, such as the cyber world and antisocial behaviour.
Yet as the Home Office issued a statement saying the responsibility is on the police chiefs to divide the resources, Simon insisted he was willing to “accept” it.
“Absolutely and I accept the responsibility,” he said, “but I’m accepting the responsibility with £38 million less than I had when I took up the responsibility.
“I don’t mind that, there’s lots that is really positive going on – particularly in neighbourhood teams, but it is a challenge and I would just agree quite strongly with what Dal Babu [former police chief] said there you know.
“One of my worries is that we’re burning out people because the workloads have gone up. If you’ve got to share your work out divided between 120,000 people where you used to share in 140,000 that can only mean workloads go up.”
Hearing the constable’s viewers Jeremy then became irate about the frustrating situation, claiming he should do more to speak out against the government who were making the cuts.
“Simon sorry just to finish this because Dal and you again are agreeing and we have to move on, you just said a £38 million decrease since you took the job, and you said, ‘I don’t mind that’. Dal’s saying surely… it’s unfair…”
Attempting to clarify her co-host’s comments, Kate suddenly stepped in to say: “You should mind.”
Jeremy continued his passionate tirade by insisting: “I’m not having a go at you, but you should mind. “It’s unfair of the government to say, by the way there’s £38 million cuts and if you do your job and get it wrong we’ll slag you off, right?”
The presenter began gesticulating further as he continued: “You should all care that that’s not enough money and join together, and be saying to the government we can’t provide what you want unless you give us more money.”
“I said I don’t mind accepting responsibility,” Simon replied calmly. “But I’m accepting that with less money.
“I think there is a consistent noise from chiefs, from the federation, from the staff unions that policing is under significant pressure.
“And that means we’re having to make really difficult prioritisation decisions.”
Also on the show, Joe Swash arrived with former Great British Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo to discuss her latest bakes ahead of tonight’s debut.
Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.