Crime prevention budgets have been cut by more than half since the Conservatives came to power, new analysis published by Labour today reveals. Between 2009/10 and 2017/18, spending on crime reduction by local authorities has been cut by almost 60%, falling from £363m to £154m.
Due to devastating cuts to local government funding, councils are being forced to cut the amount they spend on critical local services such as those that seek to reduce crime. Of the 20 local authorities with the largest cuts to crime reduction expenditure since 2009/10, 15 are Conservative-controlled.
Over the same period, the number of council employees working on ‘crime reduction’ has fallen by more than a third, from 120,334 to just 77,720.
In its Serious Violence Strategy published last year, the Home Office emphasised the importance of the work carried out by local authorities in tackling rising crime.
Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said “The Tories have slashed council budgets but demand they do more with less. Taken together with years of police cuts, austerity is making our communities less safe.
“Theresa May needs to wake up to the fact that you can’t keep people safe on the cheap.
“This government is failing to tackle rising recorded crime. If they are serious about protecting the public they need to begin to reverse the damage they have done.
“Labour will ensure that local authorities have sustainable funding, invest in our youth services and put 10,000 extra police on our streets to keep our communities safe”.