Stop scaremongering and prepare for further cuts, Theresa May tells police

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There is “no ducking the fact” that spending on the police has to face further cuts but it “is perfectly possible” to do it without affecting the quality of neighbourhood policing, the home secretary, Theresa May, has told officers.

She accused the Police Federation of scaremongering and repeatedly “crying wolf” over the impact of the previous round of cuts in police funding as part of the government’s austerity programme – and rejected their claims that further cuts would force them to adopt “paramilitary styles of policing” in Britain.

“You can choose protest, and continue to shout angrily from the sidelines for the next five years. Or you can choose partnership, and work with me to change policing for the better,” she told the Police Federation annual conference.

“I know there are those who say there is no more waste to cut. But I simply do not accept that. It is perfectly possible to make savings without affecting the quality of neighbourhood policing. Because I know – as you do – that there is still wasteful spending in policing and that resources are still not linked to demand,” said May.

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