Staffordshire Police should give out food vouchers, according to councillor
Police are right to hand out food vouchers to vulnerable people in Staffordshire, a councillor has said.
Dr Janine Bridges was speaking after it emerged officers had handed out vouchers to people who had stolen food to feed themselves.
She said it was a more direct way of dealing with the problem than referring it to social services.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham has hinted other groups may be asked to decide.
Asked on BBC Radio Stoke if police should be involved in the process Ms Bridges, cabinet member for housing at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said "Yes I think they should.
"I think they should be an integral part of that process.
"They are the professionals, they know the people, they know the criminal justice system very well and I think they should be an integral part of that approach."
Dr Bridges said if the problem was referred there would not be an instant response and there would be a risk of re-offending.
It comes after Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, said it was "absolutely not acceptable" for it to appear criminals were being rewarded for stealing.