Responding to Amber Rudd’s statement on increases in violent crime, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:
"It’s nonsense on stilts for the Home Secretary to argue lower police numbers don’t matter in the fight against serious crime and she knows it.
“Amber Rudd’s desperate defence of police cuts is a crude attempt to shield the Prime Minister from blame. It was Theresa May who so enthusiastically culled police officers.
“The alarming rise in violent crime in London and elsewhere of course can’t just be blamed on police cuts – there are always multiple causes of crimes. That’s why Liberal Democrats have consistently argued for a broad range of measures, with a much greater focus on crime prevention and investment in communities and young people.
“Yet the really dangerous, irresponsible simplification in this debate is Ministers arguing that new laws are the key solution.
“The strongest evidence suggests that a return to well-resourced community-based policing, with intelligence-led targeting, is the best solution.
“The problem for Rudd is that admitting that would amount to the Conservatives acknowledging that Boris Johnson’s cuts to community police during his term as Mayor were wrong, and that Theresa May’s slashing of police budgets bears some responsibility.
“Yet the public won’t ignore the fact that at the start of this year police numbers hit record lows and we witnessed a 14% increase in crime, with knife and gun attacks increasing the most; the fastest rate since national records began.