The British government has spent £185 million on foreign police forces while reducing spending on police at home.
Figures obtained by the Sun show that the Department for International Development has spent the money over the past four years on countries such as Bangladesh, Congo, Nigeria and Malawi.
One UK-funded project in the Congo built 23 new police stations, the same number that closed in Cheshire, Hampshire, Cumbria, Thames Valley, Lincolnshire, Wiltshire and Leicestershire combined.
In Lancashire a further 29 stations have closed, with the number of officers cut by 700.
Police Federation chairman Steve White has claimed that police numbers have been cut by 17,000, saying that “bobbies on the beat” could soon vanish.
However, the Conservatives have rejected the complaints with Home Secretary Theresa May accusing officers of “crying wolf” about cuts to the police service. Speaking to the Police Federation, May accused them of “scaremongering” by claiming budget cuts threatened the public.
She said: “This kind of scaremongering does nobody any good – it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve the officers you represent, and it doesn’t serve the public.”
“The truth is that crime fell in each of those years and our country is safer than it has ever been. So please – for your own sake and for the thousands of police officers who work so hard every day – this crying wolf has to stop.”
A government spokesman said: “It is firmly in Britain’s interests to support police and legal services in developing countries since it helps tackle the root causes of problems that affect us here, including crime, corruption and extremism.”