Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the publication today of the HMIC report 'Policing in Austerity: One year on', said:
“This report shows frontline policing is being badly hit - breaking the promises the Prime Minister made and taking unfair risks with community safety. Thousands of officers being lost from emergency response and neighbourhood teams.
“And HMIC are clear it is likely to get even worse. The Metropolitan Police have a funding gap of £233m, meaning more officers are set to be lost.
“This Government has been trying to spin its way out of the damning evidence on police cuts for far too long. It is clear the Tory-led Government is cutting too far and too fast into policing - cutting the very police officers that people want to see out on the streets protecting the public.
“They need to change course and accept Labour’s argument and the expert evidence that a 12% reduction in police spending would be manageable, but 20% is hitting frontline services.
“The Tory-led Government has no strategy to cut crime, only to cut police officers. Chaotic changes to national policing, undermining police morale and reductions in police powers alongside the scale of cuts are doing serious damage to policing.
“Today's report into last year's riots shows the number of police on the streets really mattered. Yet instead of working with the police to prevent any repetition of last year's riots, the Government has made it harder by cutting the officers they need.”