Home Secretary Theresa May was under pressure today to attend a Commons debate about budget cuts in West Midlands Police.

MPs and trade union UNISON, which represents police staff, urged her to take part in the debate, which will be led by local MPs.

They are concerned about plans to cut police funding by 20 per cent.

The debate will focus specifically on the effect of cuts on West Midlands Police. It was secured by Jim Cunningham (Lab Coventry South) and MPs from across Birmingham are also expected to attend.

Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak) said: “The chief constable has warned that jobs will be lost and up to 2,000 are under threat.”

The Government argues that it is cutting paperwork and introducing directly elected police commissioners, which will ensure police focus on the top priorities of residents, allowing forces to achieve more with less money.

Ministers also say that spending cuts are essential in order to stop Britain falling even further into debt.

A junior minister rather than the Home Secretary is usually despatched to represent the Government at debates led by backbench MPs.

But trade union UNISON urged Ms May to attend in person because of the level of concern about police cuts.

Charlie Sarell, UNISON regional secretary with responsibility for the police, said: “The extent of these cuts is going to have a direct impact on the operational ability of the police force. We know that hundreds of police staff will be made redundant unless the Home Secretary intervenes.

“If somebody is a victim of crime they rely upon 999 operators, forensics, victim support officers, police community support officers as well as police officers. Can the Home Secretary come and tell which of our police staff are not important and which ones they will axe?”

The Government has announced that national police funding will fall from £9.7 billion to £8.5 billion and will publish figures for individual forces until next month.

But West Midlands Police is likely to suffer a greater cut than other forces because it receives 83 per cent of its total budget from the Treasury, £579 million a year, while most other forces are less dependent on Treasury funding.