Today the Liberal Democrats are announcing an extra £300m a year for the police over the next Parliament.
Under Theresa May at the Home Office, and now as Prime Minister, the police have suffered over £2.2 billion worth of cuts in real terms. This represents a 22% real terms reduction.
As of 31 March 2016 the total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure.
Commenting on the announcement Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Brian Paddick said:
“This commitment, to an extra £300m a year over the next Parliament for the police, is essential. Our police officers work tirelessly to keep us safe but under Theresa May they’ve had their hands tied behind their backs.
“Police visibility on our streets is key to reassuring communities, preventing crime and gathering intelligence. Conservative cuts meant that last year violent crimes actually increased, reversing a normally declining trend.
For example, 13 people have been killed on London’s streets in the past three weeks as the capital faces a deadly knife crime epidemic.
“This money can support community policing, which reassures young people that they don’t need to carry knives, deters them from carrying knives and with the help of communities, can take knives off our streets.
“Only the Liberal Democrats have a plan to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and increase the flow of community intelligence.”
Ross Shipman, Lib Dem candidate for Bolsover said:
“The past five months have seen an overall 10% increase in crime across Derbyshire. Our police are thinly stretched and underfunded.
“Many areas of Derbyshire no longer have a police liaison with their local Parish Councils; and police officers are expected to cover such huge geographies that their links to local communities are being lost. This has to be reversed as a priority.”