Cameron's cuts will hit the Police in the North East

PoliceJacqui Smith MP, Labour's Home Secretary, and Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell MP and have criticised Tory spending plans which would see cuts, equivalent to 183 fewer police officers in the region.

It follows announcements on Monday by David Cameron that he intends to restrict the Home Office’s budget to a 1 per cent real terms increase for 2009/10, which would require a cut of £160 million in just three months’ time.
 
Labour’s Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "David Cameron's plans for sudden cuts in public spending would be equivalent to slashing the number of police officers in the North East by 183.”

"As Home Secretary I know what an important role each of our police officers play in the North East. Labour are committed to maintaining a visible police presence on our streets there - since we came to power police numbers are up by more than 14,000 nationwide, alongside nearly 16,000 Community Support Officers. “"Despite talking tough on crime, the David Cameron's Conservatives have repeatedly voted against Labour’s investment in law and order and the tough measures Labour has taken to fight crime."

Labour’s Home Office Minister and Tynemouth MP, Alan Campbell said; “It could mean 183 fewer police officers on the beat in communities across the North East - which would be a devastating blow to our region. I wonder what Mr Cameron’s colleagues in the region would say to local people to justify these cuts? I urge them to leave our police alone to get on with their important job and tell us where their cuts would fall.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. The proportion of the Tory cuts to police numbers that would affect the North East region (which includes Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland Police Forces) is derived from the latest publicly available figures on the relative strength of police forces - the Home Office Statistical Bulletin on Police Service Strength, published 22 July 2008. This set out that North East region made up 5.15 % of the total number of police officers in England and Wales, as at 31 March 2008.

2. On Monday 5 January, David Cameron announced that he intends to restrict the Home Office’s budget to a 1 per cent real terms increase for 2009/10, which would require a cut of £160 million in just three months’ time.
“…maintaining the government's spending plans for the NHS, schools, defence and International development, but restricting other departments to a 1 per cent increase in real terms.” (David Cameron, speech on spending plans, January 5 2009)