Gloucestershire Police Federation Chairman Mike Harrison reacts to Prime Minister Theresa May still failing to recognise the link between police numbers and rising crime – as sadly children are being murdered with knives on our streets.

“To say The Prime Minister is deluded is an understatement,” said Mike.

“She is not facing the truth or taking accountability for her actions as Home Secretary and then Prime Minister and those of the Government. The cuts made have led to this violent crime crisis in the country.

“Instead of taking responsibility for the cuts – Theresa May is burying her head in the sand.”

In 2010, there were 143,734 police officers in England and Wales. There are now 122,395. That’s 21,339 fewer. In 2010 Gloucestershire Police had 1,309 police officers. There are now have 1,071.  That’s 238 fewer.

According to Government statistics there’s been a 12% increase in police recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the past year – to 39,332 offences. It’s at the highest level since comparable data began to be collected in April 2010.

Latest Home Office figures show that in the year ending March 2018, there were 279,598 stops and searches conducted by police officers in England and Wales.

This was a fall of 8% compared with the previous year and continuing the downward trend since the peak in the year ending March 2011 when there 1,229,324 stop and searches.

Speaking in Salisbury this week, Theresa May said there was ‘no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers’.

Mike added:

“We are not crying wolf or scaremongering. We never were.”

Mike said that policing is not the only way to reduce knife crime – education, criminal justice and social factors all play their part.

He concluded:

“The Government cannot get away from the fact that more police on the streets using Stop and Search and the other powers we have will help to do reduce these rising crime levels.”