Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Police cuts not to blame for rise in violent crime: Rudd

Police cuts not to blame for rise in violent crime: Rudd

Rudd has denied having seen Home Office documents, leaked to the media, which suggested an increase in murders, shootings and stabbings were linked to cuts to police forces.

While acknowledging the spike in violence, the report suggests that about half the rise in robbery, knife and gun crime is due to improvements in police recording.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today unveils a major crackdown on rising gang violence as a leaked Home Office report says her own department's cuts to police "may have encouraged" violent offenders.

But Labour accused the Home Secretary of sticking her head in the sand.

London has seen a surge in violence
GETTYLondon has seen a surge in violence

Calum Macleod, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said it was "astonishing" that the government had failed to address dwindling officer numbers in the 111-page document unveiled on Monday. The strategy also involves a consultation on extending stop and search.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins defended police numbers, which have been cut from 143,734 to 123,142 in seven years.

At the launch of the serious crime strategy this morning, Ms Rudd said she had not seen the leaked documents, but added that she was "not interested in making policy decisions based on anecdote".

The recent spate of violence has prompted scrutiny of a sharp reduction in stop and search activity, with use of the powers at the lowest level since current data records started 17 years ago.

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"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.

Reforms were introduced in 2014 to ensure the tactic was used in a more targeted way following criticism over the number of stops of black and minority ethnic individuals.

The Policing Minister Nick Hurd initially appeared to cloud the issue when he admitted that the police were stretched, but then added that it was "categorically not the case" that cuts had led to the rise in violent crime.

Mr Javid defended the Government's record, saying: "When Theresa May was home secretary, what she wanted to do was rightly make sure that when stop and search powers were used that they were used within the law".

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Michael Lane, who is facing a no-confidence vote.In today's latest speech, Ms Rudd is expected to highlight the importance of stopping youngsters carrying knives in the first place as she publishes the Government's Serious Violence Strategy.

Now police can stop and search individuals for corrosive substances but only if they believe the person in possession intends to use it as an offensive weapon and cause injury.

The proposals will also make it illegal to possess certain offensive weapons like zombie knives and knuckle-dusters in private and introduce a new "two strikes" regime meaning criminals repeatedly caught with acid will face an automatic custodial sentence.

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