Vernon Coaker MP, Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, responding to comments from Nick Herbert over the weekend just ahead of thousands of police officers working day and night to secure the Notting Hill Carnival and other events across the country, and again today criticising Labour and the police, said:
"This Government's desperation is becoming very clear. Cutting police officers is understandably unpopular in communities up and down the country. Dressing up cutting officers from the beat as reform is, frankly, incredible.
"Nick Herbert demonstrates this Government's fundamental misunderstanding of the modern police service with his attempts at creating a smokescreen around his own actions. Nick Herbert is so desperate he has now taken to misleading the public by saying there are 25,000 police officers in the back office – this completely wrong – simple as that.
“His Government’s policies are leading to the loss of over 16,000 police officers across the country, in addition to over 16,000 staff and 1800 PCSOs. That is the reality set out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, but all he can offer is empty rhetoric.
"The HMIC say only 5 per cent of police officers and PCSOs are in the so-called back office, which includes training new officers in specialist policing. The so-called middle office includes detectives, drugs, vice crime and burglary units - people this Government would have you believe are expendable.
"Modern policing, with neighbourhood policing at its centre, has been reformed significantly in the last decade. Police officers prevent and solve crime, as well as arresting people. Right now they need support in doing their job, but this Tory-led Government is busy undermining them and the work they do.”