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Fury over Home Secretary's violent crime claims

Come and see what is happening in northern inner cities, Ms Rudd is told
Published - 10/04/2018 By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

The Home Secretary has lost the confidence of police officers and victims of crime nationwide, a local federation chairman has claimed.

Greater Manchester Police Federation Chairman Ian Hanson spoke out after Amber Rudd claimed rising violent crime had nothing to do with falling police numbers.

Ms Rudd also denied seeing Home Office research that suggested offenders may have been "encouraged" by the lack of police resources and fall in charge rates.

The furore threatened to overshadow the launch of the government's long awaited strategy for tackling violent crime.

Work on the wide-ranging package of measures started last year but it has been finalised against a backdrop of mounting calls for action following a deadly wave of violence in London.

But it fails to mention cuts to police budgets.

Mr Hanson said the loss of some 2,000 police officers and 3,000 support staff has left a “gaping hole” in GMP's capabilities.

“Violent crime is going through the roof with gun crime up 20 per cent and knife crime up 21 per cent and we have to remember that these are not just statistics - behind these figures are real victims, people’s loved ones left dying on the pavement on this government's watch.

“The politicians tell us it’s not about police numbers… yet the response to the crisis in our capital this week is to draft in 300 additional police officers from across London - they can’t have it both ways.

“And these are just the high-profile incidents that are being reported in the media. Behind them all day every day countless victims of crimes’ lives are being made a misery because of our wholesale inability to provide an effective response to the lower level crime that plagues our communities.

“I have seen police officers in tears because they are so frustrated that they simply don’t have the time to do the job properly any more.”

He called for Ms Rudd to acknowledge the consequences of “the biggest reduction in police numbers in history and the effective dismantling of the British Police Service” or step aside.

"Ms Rudd take yourself away from the Palace of Westminster or the leafy lanes of your constituency of Hasting Upon Rye and come up north and see what is happening in our inner cities and poor communities to real people on your watch," he said.

He added funding pressures have eroded the ability of police to prevent terror attacks “beyond sensible comprehension”.

“The bedrock of preventing attacks is intelligence and that intelligence is provided by our communities, yet our numbers have fallen to such lows that we can barely put enough police officers out to respond to 999 incidents let alone properly resource community policing teams to develop effectively relationships which be in no doubt have saved lives over the years,” he said.

“It is clearly an established and accepted fact within the Home Office that the drop in numbers is a cause for rising crime because their leaked internal report this week very much stated that it was.

“And the disquiet of at least one of her Home Office officials in leaking that very document to the media in an attempt to get the truth out to the public has been laid bare for all to see.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We understand that policing, by its nature can be a very challenging and demanding job and we take the issue of police welfare very seriously.

“We welcome the work being led by forces to promote officer health and wellbeing, and last year the Home Secretary awarded £7.5 million to help provide enhanced welfare support.”

He also pointed Police Oracle towards information about the serious violence strategy and the Home Office belief that violence is being driven by supply and demand factors in the illegal drugs trade and how social media is glamorising gang culture.

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