A leaked report from the Home Office has revealed that government police cuts have “likely contributed” to a rise in serious violent crime.
The document from February says that the fall in police numbers “may have encouraged” violent offenders. The Home Office has not commented on the report.
“So resources dedicated to serious violence have come under pressure and charge rates have dropped,” the report reads.
“This may have encouraged offenders. “[It is] unlikely to be the factor that triggered the shift in serious violence, but may be an underlying driver that has allowed the rise to continue.” A highlighted box emphasises that point: “Not the main driver but has likely contributed.”
The leaked report comes as Home Secretary Amber Rudd is to introduce new measures to tackle violence in England and Wales.
Rudd is to launch a new strategy aimed at tackling serious violent crime on Monday, with a high emphasis on prevention and law enforcement.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Rudd said that serious violence is a “complex crime” and “not all about police numbers”.
“I think that you do a disservice to the communities and the families by making this a political tit-for-tat about police numbers,” she said.
There continues to be rows over budgets between different parties. Since coming into power, the Conservatives have carried out significant police cuts. Labour have said that the cuts to police numbers are jeopardising safety.
“Over the last eight years the Conservative government has decimated local services, the core services that are an essential part of holding our communities together,” Jeremy Corbyn will say over a roundtable of police officers, violent crime victims and experts.
“You simply cannot maintain community cohesion when you slash funding to the police service and cut the number of officers on our streets by 21,000,” he will add.