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Councils cutting crime prevention budgets by more than half

CASH-STRAPPED councils have slashed their crime-prevention budgets by more than half since the Tories went into government, according to new Labour analysis published today.

Spending on these services fell from £363 million to £154m between 2009/10 and 2017/18 – a cut of almost 60 per cent.

Fifteen of the 20 local authorities with the largest cuts to these services over the past eight years are Conservative controlled.

Over the same period, the number of council employees working on strategies to reduce local crime – such as burglary, fraud, violence, and anti-social behaviour – has fallen by more than a third.

However PM Theresa May, when home secretary in 2011, warned councils that they should not reduce funding for crime-tackling measures even when their central government funding is cut.

But the council at her own Windsor and Maidenhead constituency has reduced its crime-reduction expenditure by 98.6 per cent, the equivalent to £2.2m.

Swindon has seen a 95 per cent fall in spending, around £4.4m.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “The Tories have slashed council budgets but demand they do more with less.

“Taken together with years of police cuts, austerity is making our communities less safe.

“Theresa May needs to wake up to the fact that you can’t keep people safe on the cheap.

“Labour will ensure that local authorities have sustainable funding, invest in our youth services and put 10,000 extra police on our streets to keep our communities safe.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that local authorities are “responsible for setting their own budgets and managing their resources.”

The department added it is providing local authorities with £91.5 billion in funding over the next two years.

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