'You can't have public safety on the cheap': Corbyn attacks May over police cuts

  • Jeremy Corbyn accuses Theresa May of trying to run public services “on the cheap.”
  • The Labour leader says “relentless” Conservative cuts to police numbers have left Britain less safe.
  • May swipes at Labour’s Sadiq Khan over knife crime in London.

LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn accused the Conservative government of contributing to rising crime levels through “relentless” cuts to police numbers in this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Labour leader asked the prime minister to justify “cutting 21,000 police officers” with “crime rising” across the country.

“Too many people don’t feel safe, and too many people aren’t safe – we’ve just seen the highest rise in recorded crime for a quarter of a century,” Corbyn said on Wednesday afternoon.

He quoted chief constables in Lancashire, Merseyside and Bedfordshire who have said the Westminster government has left them with insufficient funds for fighting crime in their regions.

“The chief constable of Lancashire says the Government’s police cuts have made it much more difficult to keep people safe – is he wrong?”

He added: “Crime is up, violent crime rising, police numbers down and chief constables saying they no longer have the resources to keep communities safe.”

“After seven years of cuts, will the PM today admit that her government’s relentless cuts to police, probation services and social services have left us less safe? The reality is you can’t have public safety on the cheap!”

The prime minister insisted that crime levels were at “record low levels” and took a swipe at London mayor, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, over rising knife crime in the capital.

“When there was a Conservative mayor in a London, knife crime went down,” May said. “Now there’s a Labour mayor in London, knife crime is going up.”

Corbyn opted not to ask the prime minister about Brexit, despite recent confusion over the government’s customs union policy and the leak of a government assessment into the economic impact of leaving the European Union.

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