LABOUR supporters greeted their leader Jeremy Corbyn as he arrived in Southampton on the day his party made an election pledge to put 10,000 extra bobbies on the beat.

During a half-hour visit to Redbridge, Mr Corbyn outlined Labour’s proposal strengthen frontline community policing across England and Wales.

Mr Corbyn said: “Cutting police numbers especially when there is more crime to deal with is unacceptable. That’s why Labour will put 10,000 new police officers on our streets. The safety of our communities is vital to us all.

“Community policing means uniformed officers being visible, local and accessible. They engage with the public, have a detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships.

Supported by Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead, Mr Corbyn spoke to residents about crime in the area.

Mr Whitehead said: “The Tories have broken their promise to protect the police.

“I’ve had meetings recently with the police commissioner and the chief constable where they have acknowledged just how stretched the force is after the cuts and they urged action on what is happening.”

Figures published by the House of Commons Library show that the number of police officers in Hampshire has fallen by 34 per cent.

But Labour’s police proposals ran into trouble early on when shadow home secretary Diane Abbott appeared confused over the costings of the scheme in an LBC radio interview.

Initially, she quoted the total cost of the extra officers would be £300,000 but then hesitated and

revised the total to more than £80m – still far short of the actual cost.

Mr Corbyn later said the policy would cost £300 million, and insisted he is “not embarrassed in the slightest” by Ms Abbott’s gaffe.

A Tory candidate for the Test constituency was due to be selected last night.

Royston Smith, Tory MP for neighbouring Southampton Itchen described Labour’s pledge as an ‘empty, vaporous promise’.

He said: “I agree that police budgets have been cut but it’s also true but crime has fallen to some of the lowest levels that we have seen, putting some of Labour’s figures out of proportion.

“In the last budget, the home secretary pledged to protect policing across the country and we can see this through funding of counter-terrorism operations and cyber security.”

Councillor Andrew Pope, independent Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Southampton Test, said: “Labour quotes figures for all of Hampshire which bear no relation to what is happening here in Southampton.”

Also standing for in the Test constituency in June 8’s general election is Eleanor Bell for the Liberal Democrats.