Labour will today force a vote calling on the Government to reverse George Osborne’s “broken promise” on police funding as Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham launch Labour’s campaign for Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
Corbyn urged voters to use the poll as “an opportunity to tell David Cameron what you think of his cuts to the Police”. Speaking in the Midlands with Burnham, the shadow home secretary, Corbyn said PCCs will play a crucial role in opposing Osborne’s cuts.
The Chancellor promised in November’s spending review to protect police funding but cuts of 10 per cent are predicted by 2020.
It comes as new data is published showing the extent of cuts to policing. Police in England and Wales will receive £30 million less in cash in 2016/17, a cut worth £160 million in real terms and equivalent to the salaries of 3,200 officers.
Burnham said: “18,000 police officers, 12,000 of them operational front-line officers, were lost in the last Parliament.
“The truth is that the Police is being cut whilst crime is rising. They [the Government] are cutting the fire service and the border force even more deeply.
“Tory cuts that are putting your safety at risk – that’s the message that we will take into the PCC Elections. I defy the Government to stand by its claim that it is protecting police budgets in real-terms.”
Burnham added that Tory cuts threaten the UK’s ability to protect itself from terror threats:
“There are real fears that, if an attack were to happen outside London, then there simply is not the ability to surge enough Police officers onto the streets, specifically firearms units and specially trained officers.
Violent crime has risen 27 per cent annually and overall crime figures are expected to rise once cybercrime is included in official statistics.