David Hanson, Shadow Policing Minister, said:
“Theresa May is being completely dishonest about police numbers. She claimed, extraordinarily, that frontline police are being “protected”. But the Home Office’s own figures show nearly 7,000 frontline police officers have already been cut in the first two years of the Tory-led Government. This loss is even worse than the experts predicted.
“She also tried to claim there were more neighbourhood police, but in truth many forces have redefined and merged existing units of officers. For example in Gloucestershire they count 537 officers as neighbourhood, but just 27 as 999 response. The previous year, however, they had 450 described as 999 response, the majority of which have now switched to being counted as neighbourhood. In reality forces are being forced to double up the jobs and merging responsibilities to cover for the cuts.
“According to the Home Office’s own figures the total number of neighbourhood police, response unit police and traffic cops has fallen by 7,500 since the general election.
“The measures on restorative justice that Ed Miliband called for in April will be undermined if there aren’t enough police officers to enforce them.
“And if she wants more action on organised crime, she should support the plans set out by Yvette Cooper to get back more of the cash they have stolen.
“And she failed to apologise for the behaviour of Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, who insulted the police officers she is supposed to be backing in the fight against crime.
“The Home Secretary announced no new action to reduce crime, support the police or meet her immigration target. Despite all the government’s tough rhetoric they are cutting 15,000 police and undermining their work – this is a government that is weak on crime and weak on causes of crime.”