Yvette Cooper today added her weight to Labour calls that police cuts have “gone too far”.
The former shadow home secretary told the Today programme that “to lose 20,000 officers wasn’t the right thing for our future and we should be trying to increase them again.”
Cooper spoke out in the aftermath of the teror attacks on London in which seven people were killed and 48 injured at Borough Market and London Bridge.
Last night Jeremy Corbyn criticised the police cuts delivered by Theresa May as home secretary and appeared to link this decision to the attacks, accusing her of trying to “protect the public on the cheap”.
Today Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee in the last parliament, praised the emergency services, saying “the armed response to the attack in London was phenomenal.”
“It is important to pay tribute to the incredible professionalism of the emergency services and the bravery of the police officers who responded to the attack,” she said.
She went on to highlight her concern over the impact of austerity on law and order, saying: “Many of us have been warning for some time that the scale of police cuts in Britain has gone too far.
“Instead of having the cuts to capital gains tax, that the Conservatives want, instead we should put that money into 10,000 police officers across the country. I think that would be the right thing to do.”
“What we have to recognise is that you can’t ever provide precise links between the number of police and any individual attack – that would be inappropriate and wrong to do so – however, we do know, that if you have community police officers, neighbourhood police officers as well as counter-terror officers, as well as armed police officers, across the country – that does help you gather intelligence.”
“It helps you prevent radicalisation and it can also help you with the wider demands on policing, which are immense at this time.”
Cooper also called for a return of control orders, which were repealed by the coalition and opposed by Corbyn.
She tweeted in response to an awkward interview endured by culture secretary Karen Bradley on Good Morning Britain:
Government cut 1,000 armed police officers in first 6yrs & there’s still fewer in post than 2010. Presumably that’s why she wouldn’t answer https://t.co/P1zbzgA8UR
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) June 5, 2017