The Home Secretary is holding back funds to give the North the same extra police officers as the south - and Labour has the figures to prove it.
During the first decade of Government austerity, Northumbria Police lost more than 1,100 officers as a result of Home Office cuts. A new Government-funded recruitment campaign was set up to replace these nationally, but Northumbria Police was only allocated the funds for a maximum of 615 additional recruits.
While Northumbria Police has 12 per cent fewer officers than it did in 2010, some forces, noticeably those in the south of England, are now boasting of having higher overall numbers than they had at the start of 2010.
It was reported last week that there are now more Essex Police officers than at any other time in the force’s 182-year history. Elsewhere in the south, Cambridgeshire Police also celebrated having more officers than ever before.
Overall figures reveal the North East, has been the hardest hit region, with 15% fewer officers than 2010, which compares to a national difference of 7%.
Combined, North East and North West forces have 9.8% fewer officers than 2010, whilst the South East & South West forces have only 0.8% fewer – a staggering difference and alarming evidence of regional discrepancy.
Last week I attended a policing conference and challenged Suella Braverman directly to explain this divide - but predictably she had no answer.
The Government owes the people of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear another 485 officers and ministers are refusing to hand over the funds.
The Home Office must implement a fair system based on need, so all police forces can finally return to their pre-austerity recruitment numbers.
My message to the Home Secretary was clear; give us back our cops