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David Hanson MP, Shadow Minister for Policing, responding to a joint report from Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Inspector of the Crown prosecution Service on standards in the Criminal Justice System, said:

"This report is clear that under the Government's rushed through programme of reform, police officers still have to spend too much time on needless bureaucracy instead of catching criminals and preventing crime.

"The report also exposes David Cameron's idea that you can cut 15,000 police officers by the next election and cut vital local mental health and accommodation services without having any effect on how the police do their job. The fact is under this government the police are having to spend too much time as the service of last resort, being stand in social workers for vulnerable detainees because no other service has the resources to take them.  This puts unacceptable pressure on our already stretched officers and means they simply don't have the time to do their actual job of going out and keeping our communities safe.

"We have called before for a joined up and thought through approach to criminal justice and this report is clear that such an approach would be more efficient, and would free up officer time and speed up convictions.  The Home Secretary needs to immediately get a grip and work with her colleagues across departments to ensure the police aren't used as a dumping ground because of government cuts to other services."

Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General, said:

"Report after report in recent years has called for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to work as partners, but ministers seem unable to make it happen.  This report suggests that standards are getting worse, which is unsurprising given the level of cuts that are being inflicted on the criminal justice system.

"This report shows that many of these cuts are false economies resulting in costly and wasteful delays further down the line. Over 30,000 criminal trials were delayed last year and nearly 10,000 of these delays down to poor preparation of the prosecution case.

"The report's central finding that our overstretched police force struggling to get cases trial-ready is  all the more troubling in light of the government's drive to expand the powers of the police to charge and even prosecute without any oversight from the CPS. Ministers have lost sight of the fact that if cases are not prepared to the criminal standard of proof, justice will not be done and victims will be let down. It is more urgent than ever that the ministers heed the inspectors' call for an urgent review of police training in criminal procedure and that they rethink their reckless and untested direction of travel."

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