The Police Federation of England and Wales chairman has called the Prime Minister ‘delusional’ after Theresa May claimed there was no correlation between police cuts and the rise in violent crime.
Speaking to reporters in Salisbury, the Prime Minister vowed to tackle the underlying causes of knife crime in a cross-government approach, but said there was “no direct correlation” between reductions to police numbers and the rise of violent crime.
However John Apter, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said rank-and-file officers had been accused of "crying wolf" by Theresa May when she was home secretary in 2015.
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Mr Apter said: “Our Prime Minister is delusional, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge what is plain for everyone else to see, and in the face of a national crisis that is deeply concerning.
"Theresa May herself accused the Police Federation of 'crying wolf' when we highlighted our concerns. Those concerns have become a reality but still the Prime Minister fails to accept the harsh truth.
"What we need now is less talk and more action, fewer policies and more police officers - boots on the ground, out there on our streets making a real difference, protecting our youngsters.”
'No single solution'
Sajid Javid told MPs there was "no single solution" to knife crime.
The deaths of two 17-year-olds over the weekend brought the total number of fatal stabbings across the UK to 12 since January.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed to death in an east London park on Friday night in what her family called “a totally random and unprovoked attack.”
On Saturday night, Yousef Ghaleb Makki was stabbed to death in Hale Barns, near Altrincham in Greater Manchester.
Speaking in the Commons today, the home secretary Sajid Javid told MPs that there was “no single solution” to stop the violence.
He added: “Tackling serious violence requires coordinated action on multiple fronts.”
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty said more officers from the Metropolitan Police's violent crime task force had been put on patrol, and shifts extended in an attempt to tackle the problem.