Ed Balls, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said in response to comments by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police that 2,200 police staff, around half of them police officers, will be lost because of the spending review:
“This is now the second police force in the country since the spending review to confirm the impact of the government’s cuts on local policing.
“David Cameron and Theresa May’s claims that police funding can be cut by twenty per cent without hitting frontline policing is becoming increasingly laughable.
“Police forces across the country are being put in an impossible position by the scale and the speed of the cuts to their budgets. And front-loading the biggest cuts in the first two years means long-term efficiency savings to protect police numbers will be very difficult to achieve.
“It’s now becoming clear that policing is a low priority for the Tory-Lib Dem government. But what do you expect when the Tory Policing Minister thinks there’s no link between the number of police officers and the level of crime?”
Notes to Editors:
1. The Birmingham Mail this afternoon reports that the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Chris Sims believes the spending cuts will mean the loss of 2,200 staff – split 50/50 between police officers and police staff.
2. Policing Minister Nick Herbert said yesterday: “I don’t think that anyone and no respectable academic would make a simple link between the increase in the numbers of police officers and what has happened to crime. There is no such link.” (The World This Weekend, BBC Radio 4, 21 November 2010)
3. Greater Manchester Police revealed last week that around 3,000 posts, around half of them police officers, would be lost over the spending review period. A report from the Chief Constable made clear: “There will be a reduction in frontline police officer numbers”.