The public accounts select committee has warned that the public is losing its confidence in the police to do their jobs, due to the severity of cuts to the force.
This confidence has been “severely dented” the watchdog said.
The committee concluded police are taking longer to charge suspects, fewer arrests are happening and patrol officer numbers have been depleted.
The report said: “Forces are struggling to deliver an effective service: it is taking longer to charge offences, they are making fewer arrests, they are doing less neighbourhood policing and public satisfaction is declining.”
Meg Hillier, the chairwoman of the committee, said: “The ‘thin blue line’ is wearing thinner with potentially dire consequences for public safety. Public confidence and trust that the police will respond is breaking down.
“This cannot continue. Government must show leadership and get on with fixing the flaws at the heart of its approach to policing.”
Arrest numbers in England and Wales have halved over the last decade. During this period recorded crime has risen across a number of criminal acts, including murder and knife-related offences.
Police funding has fallen by 19% in real terms since 2010, officer numbers have declined by over 20,000 during same period.
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