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Cameron urged to reconsider cuts

David Cameron is set to come under renewed pressure to reverse the Government's police cuts in the wake of riots sweeping the country.

The Prime Minister has already faced calls, including from London mayor Boris Johnson, to halt the coalition's cuts to police budgets.

The Guardian quoted ministerial sources demanding the Home Office rethink the plans after order was only restored to London's streets by putting 16,000 police officers on the frontline.

Mr Cameron will make an emergency statement to Parliament later after Speaker John Bercow recalled the Commons following widespread looting and violence.

MPs are likely to use the debate to press for cuts to be stopped in light of the riots in towns and cities across England.

Meanwhile, The Guardian quoted an anonymous minister saying: "It is manifestly the case that we need police numbers and effective deployment of officers that generates public confidence. There are inevitably pressures on spending. But you need to run the numbers through the system to make sure you do not leave an exposed flank."

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper reacted angrily to the report, saying: "For 10 months we have told the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary their 20% frontloaded cuts to the police were unsustainable and were taking huge risks with law and order.

"They have repeatedly refused to reconsider the cuts and have refused to listen to warnings from the police and communities up and down the country.

"It is staggering and utterly shameful if it has taken these appalling events for ministers to start waking up to what everyone else has known all along: more police on the streets makes them safer and not only at times like this."

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday defended the cuts, telling ITV News: "It's necessary that as a country, as a Government, we have a credible plan to deal with the (budget) deficit, which we do. That means we are seeing police budgets being cut as other budgets are being cut. We know money can be taken out of police forces without affecting them doing their job of protecting the public and cutting crime."


From Belfast Telegraph