Recent research conducted by the Labour Party suggests that at least 10,000 uniformed police officer posts are set to be out of their jobs by the end of next year in England and Wales.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper believes this is down to the coalitions hasty changes. Yvette said “cutting so fast and deep” was “irresponsible” and “crazy”.
Nick Herbert, policing minister, did not confirm or deny the figures but said it was the effectiveness of officers rather than their total numbers that counted.
The Police Federation said figures were on track to fall back to the level of the 1970s. Their chairman, Paul McKeever, said: “We’re going to be back below 215 officers per 100,000. We’re 257 at the moment, and I’m one of the very few police officers old enough to remember what it was like back in the 1970s.
“We really were in meltdown then, it was very bad news indeed. We’ve improved enormously over the last 30 years, through increased funding and the resources we’ve had, and we’re going to lose an awful lot of that.”
Theresa May. Home Secretary, had always insisted that the cut in police budgets of 4% this financial year and 5% in 2012 should not have to mean a cut in the number of police officers.
However, the Labour Party have gathered figures from all 42 police authorities in England and Wales, and Labour now claims that hope cannot be realised.
Two-thirds of the 42 looked at by Labour had made recent announcements on police numbers whilst a third had not yet declared how the budget cuts set out in the Spending Review would affect them.
Despite Labour generating fear over potential police cuts, policing minister Mr Herbert said forces can and must make savings in their back and middle offices.
“By sharing services, outsourcing and procuring equipment together, they can work more efficiently and prioritise the front line, so that the service to the public is maintained and improved,” he said.
“Despite officer numbers reaching record levels, only 11% are visible and available to the public, not least because of Labour’s red tape.
“It’s not the total size of the police workforce that counts – it’s how effectively officers are deployed.”