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Met Police chief admits Tory cuts have affected crime fighting

MET Police Commissioner Cressida Dick admitted today that it would be “naive” to suggest Tory austerity had had no affect on fighting crime.

She told the home affairs select committee that “austerity has probably had something to do with” the recent spike in violent crime in London, which has claimed 65 lives already this year.

Labour shadow policing minister Louise Haigh said the commissioner’s comments fatally undermined the Tory line that police cuts had not had harmed crime prevention.

Ms Dick told the committee: “A whole series of social issues will have contributed to the changes and the increases [in violent crime] I am sure.

“I answered a radio interview in which I said, in effect, of course austerity has probably had something to do with it, by which I mean, of course, the other services as well as the police.

“But I would be naive to suggest that reduced numbers of officers on the street, for a whole variety of reasons, including — and I’m talking across the country here — reduced officer numbers overall, has had no impact.

“I’m sure it’s had an impact, together with a whole series of other things.”

Ms Haigh said: “The most senior police officers in the land have called out the dangerous Tory delusion on police cuts.

“In the face of overwhelming evidence from senior officers and their own officials, it appears that the only people in the country who now believe the loss of 21,000 officers hasn’t made the blindest bit of difference to community safety are Theresa May’s government.”

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