New Patrick Leonard98 frontline police officers in Cumbria have been cut under the Tory-led government

Patrick Leonard, Labour's candidate for Cumbria's first Police & Crime Commissioner has pledged to stand up for Cumbria Police against the Tories' 20 per cent cuts to policing.

The pledge comes as new House of Commons Library analysis has revealed that 98 frontline police officers in the county have been cut since the 2010 General Election. Earlier this year, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary predicted that the Cumbria Force would lose 20 front line officers by 2015.

Nationally 6,800 officers have already gone, a thousand more than predicted for the length of this parliament.

Patrick Leonard said:

"I won't stand by and let the Tories and LibDems become cheerleaders for the police cuts in Cumbria. This new research is very worrying. It shows that our worst fears are being exceeded and Cumbria Police are have already lost five times more officers than first predicted. This will have a devastating impact on community policing in the county.

"These figures show that there has been a 9% drop in the number of frontline officers here since the General Election. The Tories should be trying to fight crime and support the police. Instead they are cutting our police officers. They don't have a proper plan to cut crime. We need real change from this Government to make our communities safer.I will stand up to protect this community even if our local Tories and Lib Dems won't."

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, added:

"These figures show the frontline is being hit even further and faster than anyone predicted, and PCCs will be put in an impossible position.

"6,800 frontline officers have gone in two years compared to the 5,800 that Her Majesty's Inspectorate predicted would be lost over five years. Given the concern over community safety it is no wonder the Government is looking for someone else to blame.

"We know Theresa May will try to hide behind Police & Crime Commissioners as communities deal with the serious consequences of losing so many officers from our high streets and community beats. Yet it is Government decisions which are undermining the ability of the police to fight crime."



Editor's notes
1. (Page 32 has HMIC's estimate that there will be 5,800 fewer frontline police