A lawyer has ripped apart one of the Tories’ key election promises that they would recruit 20,000 police officers.
Peter Stefanovic suggested the 2019 election promise, which has been repeated by prime minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet is in stark contrast with Tory governments’ cuts of 21,000 police officers within the last decade.
“Even if 20,000 are now recruited over the life of this Parliament, there will still be less police on our streets than we had a decade ago,” Stefanovic said.
He then suggested even more police officers should be recruited when accounting for police officer retirements.
Stefanovic quoted the government’s policing minister Kit Malthouse saying that “although we are going to have 20,000 extra police officers, actually we’re going to have to backfill retirement, we’ve got to recruit something like 45,000.”
The filmmaker then went on to say that accounting for those leaving the profession as well, the number needed to be recruited is “closer to 50,000” – which was also the reported number by the BBC.
“Whatever way you look at this, our police, already stretched to breaking point, will be expected to work even harder,” Stefanovic concluded.
Last October, he lashed out at a Tory minister for his NHS remarks.
On BBC Breakfast, presenter Naga Munchetty asked Edward Argar about the severity of NHS staff shortages – who responded that it was “very difficult” to make an “objective assessment”.
“The NHS workforce in England is in crisis. NHS hospitals, mental health services, community providers are reporting staggering shortages of more than 90,000 full-time staff,” filmmaker Peter Stefanovic said, adding: “How can the health minister not know that? Why was this readily available information not pointed out to viewers?”
Argar also claimed the Tories had created jobs for 4,000 doctors – and will employ a further 50,000 nurses by the next election.
But Stefanovic said the British Medical Association warned that the NHS in England is short of 50,000 doctors – and pointed out that Boris Johnson recently admitted that just 31,000 of the promised nurses will be new.
Stefanovic added at the time: “The number of doctors in England has fallen to 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people which is lower than the EU average of 3.7.
“The latest data shows the number of primary and secondary care doctors are falling. And there are almost 2,000 fewer full-time GPs now than in 2015.
In August last year, Stefanovic also challenged Rishi Sunak’s claim that the Tories will contribute “50,000 more nurses, 20,000 more police officers and 40 new hospitals”.
He said: “There won’t be 20,000 more police officers until you replace the 21,000 police officers you’ve cut from our streets since 2010.
“And whilst we’re at it, how about replacing the 23,000 police support staff you’ve cut? And reopening the 600 police stations you’ve closed?”