Labour criticise 'shocking' police cuts

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Labour has accused the Coalition of overseeing a "shocking" 5,000 cut in police dealing with 999 emergencies.

Figures released under freedom of information laws suggest the number of "first responder" officers has dropped by 5,261 since the General Election.

David Cameron has repeatedly insisted that frontline police have not been affected by budget cuts. But the shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, said the latest details show that the Prime Minister's claims are "bogus".

The forces that have apparently suffered the biggest culls include Devon and Cornwall, which lost 540 "first responders" (25 per cent) between March 2010 and last December, and West Midlands, which lost 1,023 (19 per cent). Only 23 of 43 forces have so far provided data.

Ms Cooper said: "It is communities who will ultimately pay the price."