The North East has 230 fewer police officers working in our local communities, when compared to Spring 2010, official figures released today (Thursday 21st July 2011) show.
Home Office workforce statistics show that North East police forces have seen a 3.1 per cent reduction in the number of police officer posts, with Northumbria Police down 85 officers, Durham Police down 76 officers and Cleveland Police losing 69 officers when compared to March 2010.
Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and Home Affairs Select Committee member said:
"These figures are deeply worrying. Police forces across the North East have already lost 230 police officers since Spring 2010. We're losing experienced police officers who have who have cut crime in their communities and we're losing police staff with vital specialised skills.
"By cutting 16,200 police officers across the country, including 2,500 frontline officers by next year alone, the Tory-led government is taking an irresponsible gamble with crime and public safety."
Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on the latest release of police service strength figures, said:
"Today's official statistics from both the Home Office and the independent inspectorate show that the damage to policing from the Government's 20% cuts is even worse than we previously feared.
"Already we have lost 4,650 officers since spring 2010. These have included specialist firearms officers, experienced officers who have cut crime in their communities, and even officers who recently won national bravery awards.
"The Home Secretary has said the cuts don't need to affect the number of officers or frontline services. But the independent inspectorate's report shows that is wrong. Many forces have no choice but to cut frontline officers because of the scale and pace of the Government cuts. And forces which have already done well in cutting bureaucracy and getting more officers out on the street are actually being hit harder because they are having to cut more now from the frontline.
"Theresa May has put Chief Constables up and down the country in an impossible position.
"Crime fell for many years under Labour, but people want it to fall further. Right now the Government has no plan to cut crime, they are only cutting officers instead."
For further information on the strength of front line policing in the North East see:
1. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary report: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/publications/Pages/home.aspx
2. Police Strength statistics: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/hosb1311/