Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget today, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:
“Given the sharp rise of serious violence on our streets and the worsening crisis in our prisons, it’s almost unbelievable that the Chancellor’s Budget contained not a single penny to tackle these problems. Merely promising to ‘review police spending power’ isn’t nearly good enough.
“Liberal Democrats demand better. We are calling for an extra £300 million a year to boost community policing and urgent investment to recruit more prison officers.”
The number of full-time equivalent police officers in England and Wales has fallen by 4,789 (4%) since 2015. On top of that, the number of Community Support Officers is down 2,231 (18%) and the number of Special Constables is down 4,384 (27%).
Source:, Table H3
In the same period, knife crime has increased by 62%, firearm offences are up by 30% and homicides are up 33%.
A leaked Home Office report shows that the Government’s police cuts “likely contributed” to the rise in serious violent crime.
In 2018, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has issued Urgent Notification letters setting out significant concerns about four local prisons: Nottingham, Exeter, Birmingham and Bedford.
The number of deaths in prison has risen by 36% since 2015, while self-harm incidents are up by 81% and assaults on staff are up by 144%.

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