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Labour promise to protect police numbers

Ed Miliband on campaign trail.
Ed Miliband on campaign trail.
Ed Miliband on campaign trail.

Labour has pledged  neighbourhood policing in every area – and protect the number of officers on the beat – if elected in May.

It says saving £800m over three years, such as by axing elected police and crime commissioners, would allow forces to maintain front-line staff.

Officer numbers in England and Wales fell by more than 16,000 since 2010.

Conservatives say Labour has “wildly overestimated” the possible savings and that crime has fallen despite cuts reported BBC.

Labour is setting out plans to legislate for a “local policing commitment”, which would ensure forces guarantee neighbourhood policing in every area, and compel forces to save money by sharing support services and ending the police subsidy of gun licences.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Neighbourhood policing is far too important to let the Tories destroy it. That’s why Labour is setting out a better plan – including abolishing police and crime commissioners and putting savings back into the front line so we can keep police on the beat.

“Under the Tories we’ve seen fewer police on the beat, longer waits for 999 calls and less justice for victims as there have been fewer arrests and prosecutions for rising crimes like violence, rape or child sex offences.”