James O'Brien Analyses Theresa May's Denial That Police Cuts Led To Rise In Violent Crime

5 March 2019, 12:02 | Updated: 5 March 2019, 12:04

James O'Brien analyses Theresa May's claim that cuts to the number of police officers when she was Home Secretary didn't contribute to a rise in violent crime.

Prime Minister Theresa May sparked criticism when she claimed there was "no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers", with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick refuting the remark saying that "there is more demand for policing".

So when the LBC presenter compared police numbers to crime figures, he found a brief reason to support the Prime Minister's claim.

"If you look at the 5 years from March 2010, police officer numbers went down by about 12%. But of course what we've seen is that the cuts that were in place in 2015 took the numbers down to roughly where the numbers were in 2004," James said.

"You had years of Labour spending and investment in the police service as the figures went up, and then when Theresa May became Home Secretary they started to come down but crime figures, in her defence, went down as police cuts were imposed."

But the presenters' justification was short-lived.

- Met Commissioner Says Police Cuts ARE Linked To Knife Crime Crisis

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

As James continued, he said: "The problem for me is that it never looks like a long-term solution to long-term problems, it just looks like a convenient thing to stick on a political poster.

"So until we see where the numbers have gone subsequently we can leave a little bit of credibility hanging around that claim.

"But the problem is that certain types of crime seem to be rising exponentially and the statistics in the context of street crime and knife crime seems to back up that feeling."

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Cressida Dick: "In the last few years, police officer numbers has gone down a lot. There has been a lot of cuts in other public services. There has been more demand for policing.

"Therefore, there must be some link. I agree there is some link between violent crime on the streets and police numbers, of course there is. Everybody would see that."

Listen to James' analysis in the video above.