Britain’s most senior police officer has directly contradicted the prime minister’s assertion that there is no link between reduced police numbers and violent crime.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning, Cressida Dick said the correlation is clear.
“If you went back in history you would see examples of when police officer numbers have gone down and crime has not necessarily risen at the same rate and in the same way.
“But I think that what we all agree on is that in the last few years police officer numbers have gone down a lot, there’s been a lot of other cuts in public services, there has been more demand for policing and therefore there must be something and I have consistently said that.”
She agreed there is a link between violent crime and police numbers, “of course there is and everybody would see that”.
Dick also agreed that that middle class drug users “have blood on their hands over the deaths on the streets”.
“I think anybody who is not seriously mentally ill, seriously addicted, who is seeking ‘recreational’ drugs, particularly class A drugs, yes, I think that is a good way to put it, I do,” she said.
The Met is currently trying to recruit 3,000 officers, 1,500 of which are new posts. This will still leave the force below the numbers it had in 2013/14.
On Monday, new NHS data reflected a 93% increase in the number of young people targeted by knives – up from from 180 admissions in 2012 to 347 last year.
Analysis of crime survey data by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner suggests there are 27,000 children aged between 10 and 17 who identify as a member of a street gang – but only a fraction are on the radar of authorities.
Meanwhile, the practice of using children to traffic drugs into rural areas – known as “county lines”, has doubled in a year.