999 first responders hit by government cuts
More than 5,000 police officers dealing with emergency calls have been made redundant since the general election, a new figure released under freedom of information has shown.
The shocking result follows last month’s meeting between David Cameron and the Commons where the former assured the general public that the percentage of frontline police was actually increasing and they were not undermining their promise to make the frontline forces immune to budget cuts. However, the data – supplied by the forces and independently verified by the House of Commons – confirmed the loss of 5,261 police forces between March 2010 and the end of last year.
Devon and Cornwall forces have reportedly been hit the hardest losing 25% (540) of their total respondents, the West Midlands losing 19% (1,023). The total figures are expected to be significantly higher, as 20 forces are still yet to provide data announcing their loss.
Responding to these statistics, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper reiterated that these negative consequences were the outcome of 20% budget cuts enforced by the government. She further stated that the government have no interesting in protecting the frontline policing labelling the government’s vocal support towards the forces as “bogus”.
She said: “This steep fall in the frontline teams who respond to 999 calls just goes to show how damaging it is for the government to cut 16,000 officers. The evidence is stacked against the government and against their bogus claims about protecting frontline policing. Whether it is visible or frontline policing, however the government want to phrase it, Theresa May and David Cameron’s decision to cut 16,000 police officers is causing huge damage to police forces; and it is communities who will ultimately pay the price.”
A Home Office spokesman denied the legitimacy of the figure claiming that they were not “official figures.” He instead highlighted the introduction of 500 more officers on the frontline patrolling the streets and the numbers are continuing to rise.
The spokesman said: “We’ve reversed the policies of the past to get police out of back-offices roles and back on the streets. Official figures show that since March 2010, we’ve seen 500 more officers on the frontline, as work is being done across all 43 forces to reduce the more than 23,500 warranted police officers in backroom posts.”