In the House of Commons yesterday, the Tories voted through a police ‘grant’ or budget that was attacked by the Labour Party for its real-terms cut to police funding.
Last year May – who told police officers to stop ‘scaremongering’ over the dangers of police cuts when she was Home Secretary (video) – was heavily criticised for cuts that had weakened the UK’s defences against terrorism.
These further cuts will certainly not help in that regard.
But crime has also risen, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacking Theresa May during yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions over a 14% increase in criminality when the government has cut twenty-one thousand front-line police officers.
Today the ONS (Office for National Statistics) released its latest homicide statistics, which cover the period up to the end of the 2016/17 year – and they made shocking reading.
Excluding the recording of the tragic deaths of ninety-six people in the Hillsborough disaster, which were recorded in 2016/17 because of the verdict of the Hillsborough inquest in that year even though they took place decades earlier, the rate of homicides (murder, manslaughter and infanticide) in England and Wales rose by eight percent compared to the preceding year.
However, this was not a one-off rise. The rate also rose in 2015/16 compared to the year before – meaning that in a period of just two years, the homicide rate in England and Wales rose by almost a fifth:
The increase of 18%, from 8.9 homicides per million population in 2014/15 to 10.5 in 2016/17 does not include most of the terror-related deaths last year.
Of the series of incidents in London and Manchester, only the ‘Westminster Bridge’ incident – which claimed five lives, including that of a police officer at the Houses of Parliament – took place during the 2016/17 year. The victims of the later attacks will appear in the statistics for the current year when it ends.
The Tories launched a desperate and misleading propaganda assault on social media yesterday in a bid to retain their mythical position as the party of law, order and security. But the figures are clear.
Just as Tory cuts to social care funding have been linked to huge numbers of additional deaths among vulnerable people, recent Tory cuts in police funding and numbers correlate with significant increases in murders, manslaughter and the killing of children – and even the most politically-partisan will look foolish trying to argue that the loss of 21,000 police officers, with more to come, does not have a causal link to increased deaths.
We are less safe under Tory government.
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