It was a great honour to present so many outstanding officers with Commendations and Long Service Awards during my visit to Lincolnshire Police.
I was particularly proud to present an award to three incredibly brave officers who acted quickly to save the life of a man who had set fire to a house after brandishing a knife.
Unfortunately, officers are responding to incidents involving knives more and more. Never, since records began, has police-recorded knife crime been as high as it is today and this crisis in violent crime is a direct consequence of Tory austerity. Nine years of Tory cuts have led to 21,000 officers leaving the police, while youth services that prevent young people from being drawn into crime have been starved of funding.
Behind the statistics are stories of young lives destroyed and families torn apart. Yet Sajid Javid has recently reduced funding for a scheme to help children escape knife crime. Dozens of potentially life-saving projects will now never see the light of day.
Lincolnshire Police do a fantastic job and I was glad to get the chance to speak to officers about the work they’re doing to keep local people safe. But, like police forces across the country, they’ve faced repeated cuts since 2010.
In contrast, a Labour government will add 10,000 police officers to forces across the country and provide them with the resources they need to tackle crime.