Police candidate criticises cuts
LABOUR'S candidate to be the first Avon and Somerset policing and crime commissioner has vowed to stand up for the force against funding cuts.
The coalition Government has cut the annual grant it gives constabularies by about 20 per cent per year.
With Avon and Somerset police not replacing retiring and leaving officers during the past two years, the force has about 178 fewer police officers than in 2010.
PCC candidate John Savage, pictured, said: "I won't stand by and let the Tories become cheerleaders for the police cuts in Avon and Somerset. I will stand up to protect this community and work to maintain the necessary resources to fight crime.
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"Figures today show that there has been a six per cent drop in the number of frontline officers here. The Tories should be trying to fight crime and support the police. Instead they are cutting your police officers. They don't have a proper plan to cut crime. We need real change from this Government to make our streets safer."
Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, added: "These figures show the frontline is being hit even further and faster than anyone predicted, and PCCs will be put in an impossible position.
"Holding the elections for police and crime commissioners in November is more expensive too, costing over £100 mil- lion when that money could have kept more officers in post."
The Government believes the replacement of police authorities with PCC's will lead to a more effective and more efficient policing system.