Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has hit out at the Home Secretary over cuts made to the Northumbria Police budget.
Mr Hepburn spoke out in parliament on reductions made to the force since the Conservative Party came to power in 2010.
He was speaking during a question time debate to Home Secretary, Sajid Javid.
Mr Hepburn said: “Since the Tories came to power, the number of police in the Northumbria policing area has been cut by 27%.
“During the same time, violent crime has gone up 177%.
“Is it just the general public who notice the link between those figures, or has the Secretary of State noticed it, too?”
When will the Tories learn that you cannot keep our communities safe on the cheap?Stephen Hepburn
Mr Javid responded: “Perhaps it is worth my reminding the hon. Gentleman that at the last election he stood on a manifesto that wanted to cut police funding by 5% to 10%, whereas this government have protected it.
“If his correlation were correct — if it were correct — crime would have gone up even more had Labour been in office.”
That is a claim disputed by Mr Hepburn.
He said: “I completely refute the Home Secretary’s response.
“He knows fine well that what he said isn’t the case.
“What’s more concerning is the fact that he seems to be casting doubt on his own department’s figures.
“The truth is that he was caught off guard by these statistics that show that whilst they have slashed the number of officers working for Northumbria Police since 2010, violent crime has skyrocketed at the same time.
“You don’t need to be an expert at the Office for National Statistics to see that there is a link.
“It seems everyone can see it apart from the government.
“The Home Secretary and Tory government will continue to deny any link despite the hard evidence.
“When will the Tories learn that you cannot keep our communities safe on the cheap?”