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EXCLUSIVE: Theresa May 'more interested in pot holes than policing' says federation chief

POT HOLES: Prime Minister Theresa may has contempt for police says John Apter THE chairman of the Police Federation has said the ongoing crisis in policing is unlikely to improve until Prime Minister Theresa May changes her view of the force.

John Apter, the federation's national chairman, said Mrs May had contempt for police and was more interested in pot holes than the current funding crisis.

The federation blames drastic cuts to police officer numbers since the austerity measures of 2010 for the rising tide of violent crime and lawlessness.

CRISIS: John Apter spoke as the UK saw another week of shocking crime and violence

Although Home Secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to look at extra funding at the next spending review in March, Mr Apter is concerned that Mrs May still has the final say.

Mr Apter said unless more funding comes from the Government in the next spending review, as promised by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in May, the public will have to reassess its expectations of the service the police can give.

He said years of cuts since 2010 had left some forces struggling to deal with 999 calls.

Mrs May laid into police forces amid claims of corruption and having contempt for the public during her time as Home Secretary, particularly when she addressed the federation in 2014.

LECTURE: Theresa May lays into police at the 2014 Police Federation conference

Mr Apter said: "I have to be optimistic the Government will put its money where its mouth is, but it does not matter what the Home Secretary or policing minister says when he have a Prime Minister, Theresa May, who has contempt for policing.

SPOTLIGHT: A pot hole yesterday

"She is more interested in pot holes than policing and until that changes we will continue to struggle."

Mr Apter also said police should not have to investigate incidents like men wolf whistling at women.

He said police forces do not have the resources to record non-crimes that were deemed offensive by some.

BACK TO BASICS: Chief constable Sara Thornton

Mr Apter spoke after Sara Thornton, chairwoman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said forces needed to focus on violent crime and burglaries rather than hate crimes.

His remarks also come as a review about whether misogynistic and ageist attacks should be regarded as hate crimes continues.

Mr Apter stopped short of completely backing Ms Thornton.

He said: "I sympathise with the national chiefs, but a balance has to be struck, there are clearly hate crimes that have a significant impact on the victim and have to be investigated, but some chief constables want to record all non-crime and that is not something we can do - we should not be investigating wolf whistling."

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