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Vernon Coaker, shadow policing minister, said in response to the Policing Minister Nick Herbert’s claim that “there is no such link” between police numbers and crime levels:

“It’s astonishing to hear a Conservative Policing Minister claim that there is no link at all between police officer numbers and the level of crime.

“The coalition government is finding it increasingly difficult to justify to people why policing is such a low priority for them. Cutting police funding by twenty per cent will mean fewer police officers and PCSOs and undermine the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour in all our communities.

“Of course the level of crime is affected by lots of things, but is it absurd to pretend that the number of police officers doesn’t make a significant difference in preventing and tackling crime. It is no coincidence that under Labour police numbers rose and crime fell, even during a recession.”

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