The right hon. Lady is absolutely clear that if Labour had been in government, it would have made cuts. We are making cuts. My point was very simple: she is claiming today that it would have been possible for a Labour Government to have protected police numbers. It would not have been possible, as the last Labour Home Secretary admitted during the election campaign. The right hon. Lady must consider that very carefully.
The one thing that the previous Labour Government failed to do was to address the bureaucracy that ties up our police officers in filling in forms rather than doing the job that they want to do and that the public want them to do out on the streets. Indeed, the former president of the Police Federation and the previous Government’s own police bureaucracy fighter, Jan Berry, said that as a result of their
“diktats the service has been reduced to a bureaucratic, target-chasing, points-obsessed arm of Whitehall”.
We have done away with the diktats, we have scrapped the central targets, and we are ripping up the red tape. Instead, we are putting our trust back in the police and we are making them accountable to the people who really matter—the public.