Wales politics

Wales could lose 1,500 police officers under Tories says Labour

Yvette Cooper MP
Image caption Yvette Cooper said a future Labour government would balance the books in 'a sensible way'

Wales could lose 1,500 police officers under Conservative spending plans for the next parliament, according to Labour's shadow home secretary.

Yvette Cooper said it would be the equivalent of "every single officer in north Wales".

Ms Cooper's claim is calculated on the basis Conservative cuts in non-protected UK government departments are applied equally.

The Tories accused Labour of "making up numbers".

On a visit to the Vale of Glamorgan - one of Labour's eight election target seats in Wales - Ms Cooper said a future Labour government would balance the books in "a sensible way".

"We've also set out other areas to make savings: stopping the police subsidy to gun licences, ending Police and Crime Commissioners, making joint procurement savings," Ms Cooper said.

'Scaremongering'

"Ways of making sure we can protect the frontline and not do this extreme approach that the Tory government wants to take, which I think will be very damaging for Wales."

Asked if frontline police officers' jobs in Wales would be safe if Labour are in power after May's general election, Ms Copper said: "We've already set out proposals for next year to make sure that the police don't have to cut over 1,000 police officers that they're planning to cut already under [Home Secretary] Theresa May's plans and we've set out where you can make the savings to do that."

But a Conservative spokesman said: "Labour are just making up numbers and their scaremongering has already been dismissed by experts.

"We've heard this all before from Labour when they said crime would go up before the last election.

"In fact, we've helped the police do more with less and crime is down by more than a fifth under this government.

"The real risk to our public services is Ed Miliband as prime minister, propped up by Alex Salmond and the SNP, with no plan for our economy."

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