Theresa May accuses Police Federation of 'scaremongering' over impact budget cuts have on fighting crime

Ms May said the organisation had delivered similar warnings almost annually for more than a decade under Labour and Tory governments alike

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Theresa May has accused the Police Federation of “scaremongering” and “crying wolf” over the impact of budget cuts on the fight against crime.

She hit back at the federation, which represents rank and file officers, after it claimed that the bobby on the beat was about to become an “endangered species” because of the government’s spending squeeze.

She told its annual conference: “I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good. It doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve the officers you represent and it does not serve the public.”

 

Ms May said the organisation had delivered similar warnings almost annually for more than a decade under Labour and Tory governments alike.

“The truth is that crime fell in each of those years. It has fallen further since, and our country is safer than it has ever been.

“So please, for your sake, and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day, this crying wolf has to stop,” she told delegates in Bournemouth.

The Home Secretary, who last year told the federation conference she was scrapping its public funding, that the organisation could “shout angrily from the sidelines” or work with her to improve policing standards.

One officer told Ms May that cuts to neighbourhood policing was a fact and not scaremongering. He was applauded when he told her: “Don’t talk down to us.”