Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Police federation chief in crime rise warning

The chairman of the Police Federation, Paul McKeever, has told MPs that there could be a rise in crime in England and Wales if planned funding cuts go ahead.

He gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on 11 January 2011 as part of an inquiry into the Coalition's proposal to cut funding by 4% then 5% in the next two years.

Central funding will fall to £9.3bn in 2011-12, then £8.8bn the year after.

In the Spending Review in October, police learned they faced a 20% cut in funding by 2014-15.

Mr McKeever said there could be 20,000 fewer officers in service, saying there was a correlation between a cut in numbers and crime rates.

He told the committee that police stations could close as a result of the cuts, a move re-iterated by Chief Constable Peter Fahy from Greater Manchester Police.

Mr Fahy said that some police stations had only "one or two callers" at night, and were being kept open for "political" reasons.

The committee also heard from the Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls, who said that Labour would have spent more money on the police if it had been re-elected.

However he was criticised by Conservative MP Aiden Burley for leaving a legacy "where police spend more time form-filling than out on the streets".

Home affairs committee membership

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