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Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on police numbers, said:

"These shocking figures show the biggest fall in police numbers in over a decade at the same time as we are seeing the biggest increase in personal crime. The Home Secretary needs to take urgent heed of the serious warning from the Gloucester Chief Constable that the police are facing a "cliff edge" due to the sheer scale of these police cuts.

“David Cameron and Theresa May are letting down communities and turning their backs on the police. They should be battling to cut crime, but they are just cutting the police instead.

“Police numbers have fallen to the lowest for a decade, with 8,000 fewer officers since the election and 6,000 since last year alone. At the same time personal crime including theft and violence has gone up by 11 per cent - the biggest increase in a decade.

“The Home Secretary's 20 per cent cuts go much further than the 12 per cent recommended by the independent inspectorate and supported by Labour.

“The Home Secretary must now admit her claim that frontline services would be safe has been proved wrong and out of touch.

“The Gloucestershire Chief Constable has today said the scale of budget cuts means his force faces a ‘perfect storm’ with the majority of police stations already closed and neighbourhood policing now in jeopardy.

“And new evidence shows that rather than delivering more police on the beat, the scale of cuts is forcing more police officers to work in ‘back and middle office’ areas like covering police cells.

“The Prime Minister's decision to cut policing too far and too fast when many crimes are increasing is putting communities at risk. MPs of all parties should vote against the scale of the Government’s cuts to their local police force in Parliament on February 8.”

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