The number of police officers has fallen to a 30-YEAR low – at the same time as cops record biggest crime surge in a decade.
Official statistics show there were 123,142 officers across all ranks in England and Wales at the end of March this year.
This was a fall of 0.7% on 2016, and the lowest number at the end of a financial year since comparable records began in 1996.
A Home Office report warned: “Records earlier than this are not directly comparable; however, they indicate that this is the lowest number of officers since 1985.”
The revelation will fuel questions over forces’ capacity to counter threats including terrorism, knife crime and online fraud.
And it comes after repeated calls by Labour to pump cash into police budgets and hire more officers.
Labour MP Angela Eagle declared: “Police cuts have gone too far.” Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott added: “This a damning indictment of the …