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Government must fund more police officers to tackle knife crime

April 15, 2019 4:55 PM

Police at Civic"It seems the Home Secreatry will talk about anything to tackle knife crime except the one thing that communities most desperately need: more police officers", says Ed Davey, who leads for the Liberal Democrats in Parliament on Home Affairs .

"The Home Office's own analysis shows that the Tories' excessive police cuts have contributed to the rise in serious violence, yet the Home Secretary stubbornly refuses to fund forces properly so they can put more officers on our streets.

"Tackling this knife crime epidemic does require a public health approach, but police are an integral part of that approach. How on earth does Javid expect police officers to spend more time working with youth workers and other agencies when they're already hugely overstretched?

"The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must urgently give local police forces the funding they need to recruit more officers and restore the community policing that prevents crime and keeps us safe."

According to the National Audit Office, the Government has cut £1 billion from frontline police budgets in real terms since 2015.

In the same period, the number of full-time equivalent police officers in England and Wales has fallen by 4,797 (4%). On top of that, the number of Community Support Officers is down 2,579 (21%) and the number of Special Constables is down 5,045 (31%).

A leaked Home Office report last year shows that the Government's police cuts "likely contributed" to the rise in serious violent crime