Responding to the Spending Review, the Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls said:
“This Spending Review is not only reckless and dangerous for jobs and the economy but is taking huge risks with the public’s safety, crime and national security.
“Deep cuts of 20 per cent to police funding in this Spending Review will be impossible to achieve without massive cuts to the numbers of police on the street and programmes to fight crime and anti-social behaviour. They go way beyond what can be achieved through efficiency savings and better procurement.
“And cuts to the funding of border controls and counter-terrorism policing risk weakening our defences against threats to our national security.
“The Home Secretary has abjectly failed to fight the corner of the police in these Spending Review negotiations and it will fall to the Labour Party to stand up for the law-abiding public against these reckless cuts.
“For the last three years Labour kept crime falling – even during a recession – by supporting people into work and keeping police numbers at record levels. At a time when the coalition’s plans risk pulling the rug from underneath growth, jobs and economic recovery, cutting policing and the fight against crime is the most reckless cut of all.”
1. The Spending Review announces that “central government police funding will reduce by 20 per cent in real terms by 2014-15”. (Spending Review 2010, pg.54)
2. In July 2010 a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Valuing the Police: policing in an age of austerity said that a “re-design” of the police system could “at best.. save 12% of central government funding, while maintaining police availability. A cut beyond 12% would almost certainly reduce police availability unless it were prioritized over and above everything else the police did”.
“A re-design of the system has the potential, at best, to save 12% of central government funding, while maintaining police availability. A cut beyond 12% would almost certainly reduce police availability unless it were prioritised over and above everything else the police did…. Over time, savings of around £1.15 billion (equating to 12% of central government funding) may be achievable by improving productivity and cuttings costs.”
‘Valuing the Police: policing in an age of austerity’, HMIC report, July 2010, pg.4