Amber Rudd refuses to rule out further police cuts

The Home Secretary would give no promise on police numbers or budgets

Home Secretary Amber Rudd
Home Secretary Amber Rudd

The Home Secretary has refused to rule out further police cuts following a Labour election pledge to put 10,000 more police officers on the beat

In an interview on Tuesday it was suggested to Amber Rudd that she had made “no promise on numbers, no promise on budget”.

“We will have to see what comes out with the manifesto,” the Conservative MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“But be in no doubt that a Conservative budget will put security first and what we’ve seen in recent years is a protected police budget.”

20,000 police officers have been cut since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. George Osborne belatedly protected the police budget in the 2015 spending review.

Labour says it will fund an extra 10,000 officers by reversing the Conservatives’ cuts to capital gains tax.

But Ms Rudd dismissed the pledge and being “without credibility” and said the police Budget needed to be kept under “control”.

“I think the important statistic is that crime has fallen by 2010 by a third. We believe that we can control the Budget and reduce crime,” she said.

“Labour’s proposal is totally without credibility, they’ve spent the money already that they say they’ve got for it several times before and they have no reputation on looking after security at all.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott however said the police were “crying out for is more manpower”.

Speaking in Southampton today announcing the new policy Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will say: “Cutting police numbers especially when there is more crime to deal with is unacceptable. The safety of our communities is vital to us all.

“Community policing means uniformed officers being visible, local and accessible. They engage with the public, have a detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships.

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