“I know how important it is for people to feel like they can access the police when they need them and the pledge is about empowering people to know what service level they can expect.
It is also about ensuring all police forces across the country are offering the same high level of service.
Thanks to Labour’s investment the focus now is on police responding to local communities and individual police officers being able to tackle the issues that matter locally. It is important that we let people know what they can expect.
Since Labour came to power we have been committed to raising the levels of community policing with our introduction of dedicated Neighbourhood beat teams for every area. This is compared to the Tories whose £160 million Home Office budget cuts could see more than 3,500 police cuts across England and Wales meaning 93 less police officers in Kent.”
1. On Monday 5 January, the Conervatives announced that they intend to restrict the Home Office's budget 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.”
2. The last published data (Home Office Statistical Bulletin on Police Service Strength, sets out that as at 31 March 2008 there were 141859 full-time equivalent police officers serving in the 43 forces in England & Wales. Based on the relative strength of police forces in these figures, the effect of the £160m cut proposed by the Conservatives for 2009/10 would be the equivalent of reductions in officer numbers for Kent of 93 police officers."
3. There is a record level of police numbers in England, Scotland and Wales with 14,000 more since Labour came to power.