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Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on HMIC figures showing that 9 out of every 10 police officers lost were from the frontline, said:
"The Prime Minister's claim that the proportion of front line officers has gone up was both wrong and out of touch.
“For a start, communities want to know about police numbers not just the proportion on the front line. And the Policing Minister admitted in the debate today that front line numbers are going down. Over 4,000 officers have gone from front line jobs in the first year of the Tory-led Government alone.
“And these new figures from HMIC also show that 9 out of 10 of the total police officers lost in the first year were from front line jobs. That means the proportion of officers on the front line has fallen too.
“This Government is cutting the police too far and too fast. We have continually warned that cutting 20% from the police budget and cutting 16,000 police officers across the country would have a damaging impact on the front line.
“The Government should switch to our plans for a 12% cut to the police budget so that the number of police officers and front line services can be protected.
“The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary need to set out a plan to cut crime instead of just cutting police officers.
“Personal crime, including theft, robbery and violence, has gone up by 11 per cent over the last year - the steepest increase for over a decade. This is a terrible time to cut 16,000 police officers. The Tory-led Government is out of touch with communities on crime and public safety, and they need to think again.”