Theresa May when asked on the “Battle for Number 10” last night how many more police officers she would provide only confirmed she would provide fewer police officers and less money for the police service!
She said we will protect the overall police budget and that more of it would be spent on cyber police and counter terrorist police thus there will be no new money and the existing police budget is nearly £2 billion per year (£1.915 billion) less than in 2010 and has resulted in 20,000 fewer police officers now than then.
Tories always say that throwing money at an issue is not the way to solve it yet when that comes to the safety and security of the nation they can NEVER get away with that ideological excuse as the electorate simply wont have it. We now have 20,000 fewer police officers (and 20,000 fewer armed forces personnel) and the safety and security of the UK is much greater at risk as even the Tories acknowledge.
Theresa May should have been asked how many fewer police officers we will have!
Theresa May also issued a barefaced lie when she said she had protected police budgets as they have fallen dramatically under her as the second longest Home Secretary in recent political history. What’s more she must know she lied as she has been the Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 and the second longest serving Home Secretary in political history.
The IFS report from 2015 reveals that the country spends £2bn per year less on the police for ‘normal’ activities and spends £3.4bn over 5 years more on counter terrorism policing which is an average of £680 million a year more meaning a net cut of £1.3 billion per year.
The extra money on police counter terrorism was announced by George Osborne and reported here in his Autumn Statement in November 2015:
George Osborne has promised to spend £3.4bn extra on the country’s counter-terrorism efforts over the next five years – a rise of 30 per cent – ahead of the Autumn Statement, as the government seeks support for military action to fight the rise of Islamic State (IS)”
In isolation this additional £680 million per year looks like the Tories are spending more yet as the IFS figures show the Tories are spending an overall £2 billion per year less on normal policing to make a net cut on the police spend of a whopping £1.32 billion per year.
As you can see the IFS table is well sourced and has the figures in real terms to enable a like-for-like comparison all of which reveals the context to be a cut of £1.915 billion cut from £13.617 billion down to £11.702 billion which sees this cut reduced by £680 million or £0.68 billion with the increase in police counter terrorism budget to give an overall police budget cut of £1.235 billion per year in real terms.
The Tories since 2010 have cut the overall police budget by £23.7 million per week and have cut almost 20,000 police officers.
As I said above the traditional Tory line of we will not throw (more) money at an issue we will get better value from the amount we fund does not sit at all well with the public when it comes to safety and security. Give our police the money they need is the mantra of the voter when it comes to the police – and the Tories have cut the police budget by £23.7 million per week and £1.235 billion per year.
The police and police budgets are the responsibility of the Home Secretary and this cut from 2010 in real terms shows that Theresa May as Home Secretary cannot even win an argument against her own Chancellor when it comes to spending and budgets for the so-called party of law and order!
The Conservative Home Secretary position is a licence to promote the string em up and hang em views of the most reactionary politician. The Conservatives proudly and repeated boast THEY are the party of law and order and always have done yet Theresa May can’t even get more money for the police in an internal budget battle with George Osborne as Chancellor!
What hope Theresa May has of negotiating against 27 European leaders in the Brexit negotiations must be seen in that light and we all need to judge Theresa May on her record and not on her rhetoric and weak and wobbly is far too high a compliment for that record.