SHADOW Policing Minister Jack Dromey has claimed their will be serious consequences as a result of major cuts to police budgets during a campaign visit to Leeds.
Mr Dromey met police and police community support officers in Horsforth and visited Pudsey police station.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson will oversee a £33.5 million cut in the budget for the coming year as Government funding for policing is reduced.
Mr Dromey said police officers were under growing pressure as “fewer people are having to do ever more” and expressed concern about the damage to neighbourhood policing.
“There are serious medium to long-term consequences if you lose that connection to the community,” he said.
“The great thing about neighbourhood policing is it is local policing, local routes, engaging local communities.
“If you form those relationships then communities co-operate with you in identifying wrong-doing and wrong-doers.
“But it is also about preventing crime, diverting people from crime.”
Labour has promised to reverse current proposals to reduce the number of police officers by 1,100 across the country in the year ahead.
Labour is also proposing to scrap the elected posts of police and crime commissioners, give communities a bigger say in local policing and make the police accountable to voters through a committee of local councillors.
Mr Dromey was visiting the area to support the campaign of Labour candidate Jamie Hanley who is trying to win the Pudsey seat from Conservative MP Stuart Andrew at May’s General Election.
Mr Andrew took the seat from Labour in 2010 with a majority of just1,659.
It is seen as a crucial seat for Labour to take back if it wants to have hopes of winning power in May.
Last month, London Mayor Boris Johnson visited Farsley, also part of the Pudsey seat, to support Mr Andrew’s campaign.
The Conservatives did not respond to requests to comment on Mr Dromey’s visit.