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Tories plan to cut 2,200 police officers in the South East

You can’t trust the Tories with public safety – 999 emergency response times are up, yet they want to cut 2,200 more police officers in the South East. 

In the South East, over the last four years, more than 1,650 police officers have been cut. Under Tory spending plans, 2,200 more police officers will be cut in the region.

Nationally, over the last four years, almost 17,000 police officers have been cut and almost 20,000 more police will go in the next Parliament if Tory spending plans are implemented.

Meanwhile, 999 emergency response times are up. Police forces in Kent recorded a rise of over 30 per cent, from an average 9 minute response to an average 12 minutes.

Tristan Osborne, former Special Constable and Labour’s candidate for Chatham & Aylesford said:

“These shocking figures make it clear that you can’t trust the Tories with public safety and victim support.

“In a time when serious crime is rising, it is shocking that the Tories plan to axe 2,000 police officers in the South East, particularly as more than 1,650 police officers in our region alone have lost their job in the past four years.

“Police officers are working around-the-clock to keep our streets safe and protect victims. Forces in the South East are already suffering from the Tories' cuts as evidenced by the 30% increase in response time in Kent. By jeopardising the efficiency of police forces, the Tories are putting victims at risk.

“Labour would restore confidence in our criminal justice system by putting an end to the erosion of police officers by investing in neighbourhood policing and prioritising the frontline.”   

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20 of the 27 forces across the country who provided data showed increases in how long it took to attend the highest priority 999 emergencies at night. Three forces recorded rises of over a third and a further three forces recorded rises of over a quarter, yet only two forces had improved. The average time increase across the country was 17 per cent.

Two forces specifically referenced government cuts in police numbers in their explanation for these shocking rises.

This is all against a backdrop of rising serious crime. Violent crime has gone up, more rapes and child abuse are being reported, yet fewer cases are being prosecuted. 

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