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“Dangerously incompetent”: Amber Rudd.

The Tories are trying to cover their embarrassment over this latest blunder, but it is already too late.

Amber Rudd is on record as saying police cuts have not contributed to the rise in serious violent crime on the UK’s streets – in direct contradiction of a Home Office Report that has been leaked to the press:

Government cuts to the police “may have encouraged” violent offenders and have “likely contributed” to a rise in serious violent crime, leaked Home Office documents have revealed.

The documents cast doubt on claims by the home secretary, Amber Rudd, on Sunday that cuts to the police were not to blame for rising violence.

The Home Office said it would not comment on leaked documents.

Rudd will on Monday launch a strategy aimed at tackling serious violent crime, which officials and ministers have been working on for months.

Any such strategy will be flawed if it does not take into account the harm caused by the Tory policy of cutting police numbers. And how can it, if the Home Secretary is determined that she hasn’t seen the report?

One person who has seen the report is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who commented on the situation in his speech launching the party’s London local elections campaign:

We always said cuts have consequences and now the Home Office’s own officials agree with us.

Todays leaked documents make a nonsense of the Tories’ repeated claims that their cuts to police numbers have had no effect.

You cannot protect local communities when you cut funding to local councils to such an extent they are unable to provide the essential youth service support that stops many young people being drawn into violent crime.

The Tory record on policing and crime is one of reckless failure. Plain and simple – you can’t have security on the cheap and cuts have consequences. Too many communities are living with those consequences.

But Ms Rudd has moved on. It seems she is now blaming local Police and Crime Commissioners:

In fact, it seems senior police officers and the London Police Commissioner had warned Ms Rudd about the logical result of her cuts:

What are we to conclude?

That Amber Rudd is, as she has been described, dangerously incompetent. Her claim that she has not seen a report that contradicts her position on police cuts is, as LabourList claims, “either incompetence or dishonest” – and neither is acceptable in a Minister of the Crown.

That Jeremy Corbyn has a much firmer grip on the situation than Ms Rudd.

That voters in London can indicate their dissatisfaction with the situation by voting Labour – and giving Ms Rudd and her Tory blunderers the kicking they deserve for placing the citizens of our capital city in danger.

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