If the BBC admits something negative about a Tory minister, it’s a signal event – and it seems that Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s attempt to claim that the rise in serious and violent crime has nothing to do with police cuts was a step to far for at least one BBC journalist – Danny Shaw.
Mr Shaw had already been on something of a roll this morning, tweeting of his surprise that Rudd should claim she hadn’t seen the Home Office’s – her own department’s – report stating that police cuts were likely to be a cause of the crime rise and the questions it raised:
But he went further at lunchtime when talking to BBC News’ Carol Walker – pointing out that Rudd had ‘sidestepped’ questions about the complete absence of any mention of cuts in the one hundred and fourteen-page report on Tory policing plans:
Ms Rudd’s wilful ignorance of the obvious effects of 21,000 fewer police officers on the streets of England and Wales has already drawn fire from Labour front-benchers, at least one of whom wondered on social media whether she was being deliberately misleading or completely incompetent.
Over on Sky News last New Year, one expert commentator was scathing of Tory claims, telling viewers, “It’s horrendous out there” and insisting that the situation is entirely because of the government’s cuts:
Amber Rudd seems to think Police cuts have no effect on violent crime… Perhaps we should listen to people that actually know about these things?
Oh, I don't know, like… Police officers? pic.twitter.com/ymwSZpFI2a
— EL4C (@EL4JC) April 9, 2018
Amber Rudd can stick her head in the sand and avoid questions all she wishes. The reality is obvious to laypeople and police experts alike – and so obvious even the BBC struggles to avoid facing it:
Cuts kill – and policing cuts are no different.
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