Police numbers plunge by a third in eight years
The number of police on the streets has dropped by nearly a third since 2010, research has revealed.
Police numbers in forces across England and Wales have plummeted by almost 56,000 – or 31 per cent – in eight years under the Conservatives.
According to an analysis by the House of Commons Library, almost 178,000 police officers, including long-term absentees, were recorded in2010.
The latest figures from this year show there are now a little over 122,000 serving officers.
The drop in numbers comes amid growing concern around the surge in knife and other violent crime in England and Wales, with 37 children and teenagers being stabbed to death so far this year.
Sajid Javid was expected to announce new police funding on Thursday, but this has been delayed due to the political turmoil around Brexit.
It was anticipated that the Home Secretary would signal an additional £450m for the police, paid for via a rise in council tax, which has led to criticism from opposition benches.
It is believed that Mr Javid has convinced the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire to allow local police and crime commissioners in England and Wales to double the policing levy on council tax bills from £12 a year to £24.
But Labour has warned that this will not be enough to increase the number of patrolling police officers.
Louise Haigh, the shadow policing minister, said the figures provided “clear evidence of the impact that brutal cuts have had on the police”.
“You simply can’t protect the public on the cheap, yet ministers still don’t seem to be listening,” she added.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are on the front foot in engaging with the police and recognise the changing demands they are facing.
“There is £1bn more of public money going into policing than three years ago and the Home Secretary has been clear that he will prioritise police funding.” The House of Commons analysis also shows the number of officers patrolling the streets of
– a loss equating to about one in eight officers.