Peter Dowd (Bootle) (Lab): Is my right hon. Friend aware that there has been a 23% reduction in the force establishment in Merseyside since 2010? By 2019, that will have gone up to 41% of the workforce. Does he think that those on the Government Benches have any idea about the impact that that will have on the community, safe policing and the safety of police officers?
Andy Burnham: I do not think that they do. Cuts on the scale proposed would mean the effective end of neighbourhood policing as we have seen it in recent years, particularly in rural areas and areas of lower risk. We would see thousands of bobbies taken off the beat. It would take us back to the bad old days of reactive and remote policing, with officers retreating to cars and to the station. They will not be out on the streets or visible in their communities.
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