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David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, responding to the speech at RUSI today from Tom Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said:

"Tom Winsor is right to talk about the importance of crime prevention and the broader purpose of policing. Unfortunately Theresa May's approach is very different and as a result there is a serious risk of policing going backwards on both crime prevention and effective use of technology - two central issues that the Chief Inspector highlighted today.

"Preventing crime and making life difficult for persistent offenders follows the evidence of maintaining public safety. Yet the Government has cut the community safety budgets by an incredible 60 per cent.

"These funds are used to pay for drug and alcohol treatment, youth offending teams, programmes that help people leave gangs, and improved street lighting and CCTV - the very activities so important in preventing crime and fostering partnership working with the police.

"Cutting 15,000 police officers is also putting at risk the effectiveness of local partnerships that are key to preventing crime.

"Labour's Crime and Disorder Act was a watershed moment in partnerships for prevention. But Theresa May's short-sighted focus and the scale of the cuts means in many areas the police are withdrawing to a more restricted role rather than reaching out and forming new partnerships.

"Mr Winsor is also right to highlight the importance of IT and technology in the future. The trouble is that forensic science has been in chaos since Theresa May's abolition of the Forensic Science Service, and the much promised Home Office national IT company seems to have run completely into the sand, leaving forces in even greater confusion about procurement for the future. National leadership from the Home Office is urgently needed on IT. I hope the HMIC focus on this issue will force the Government to get this sorted out.”

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