Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:53 UK

Police funding cuts will be 'damaging' - Labour

Cuts to police funding in England and Wales could result in 4,100 fewer officers this year, shadow policing minister David Hanson has said.

During a debate on the government's plans to reduce grant funding to police forces in England and Wales by £115m, Mr Hanson said he was "disappointed and unhappy" with the way Mr Herbert was seeking to amend a funding deal which had been agreed under the previous government.

Mr Hanson strongly criticised Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and other senior Lib Dems, telling MPs they had pledged not to cut police and said the money saved from scrapping ID cards could fund more police.

He went on: "I think that cutting the police grant this year, coupled with the potential cuts to the police grant next year of significant numbers of around 25% will be really damaging to our crime-fighting capability.

"Coupled with the scrapping of the policing pledge and coupled with the sustained attack on community policing, I don't believe we will be able to sustain the level of crime falls that we have had.

"This will be damaging in the long-term. I believe this settlement is wrong," he concluded.

But Policing Minister Nick Herbert argued that forces would be able to cope with reductions of less than 1.5% in their funding from central government by making "efficiencies" in back office operations.

Opening debate on the move, Mr Herbert insisted the new funding deal - which amends the final year of a previously-agreed three-year settlement - was "fair and reasonable".

MPs approved the measure by 324 votes to 234, a government majority of 90.


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