Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged to correct herself after the official statistics watchdog said she was wrong to claim Government funding for the police has risen.

Mrs May told the House of Commons that “more money is going to policing”, and said: “We are providing extra funding for police forces.”

Similar claims were also made by the Home Office, which stated on its official Twitter account: “The government is providing a £450 million boost to #police funding”.

But Sir David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has ruled that the claims give the wrong impression.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Midlands Police , David Jamieson, has now called on the Government to apologise.

He said: “This is what I have been saying for a long time. Forces like West Midlands Police are still facing real terms cuts.”

The row focuses on government funding for police services, which has actually been frozen - a real terms cut, once inflation is taken into account.

Government funding for West Midlands Police is £441.1 million for the financial year beginning in April, the same amount as last year.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson

But the Government has also made it easier for Police and Crime Commissioners to impose above-inflation increases in the police precept, which is added to council tax bills.

Mr Jamieson has imposed a £12-a-year increase on band D homes. It means total funding for West Midlands Police will rise by £9.5 million.

Labour politicians argue that this means the Government is wrong to suggest that it is providing extra money, because the increase will actually come from council tax-payers and not from central government funding.

Sir David Norgrove endorsed that view, after he was asked to make a ruling by the Labour Party.

He said: “The Prime Minister’s statement and the Home Office’s tweet could have led the public to conclude incorrectly that central government is providing an additional £450 million for police spending in 2018/19.

“The Home Office tweet also implied that the £450 million sum is guaranteed.

“As the Minister for Policing’s statement outlined, up to £270 million of the funding settlement will come from local council tax, if Police and Crime Commissioners and Mayors choose to raise these sums.”

Mr Jamieson said: “West Midlands Police has been hit harder than anywhere else in the county. I hope the government apologises for its misleading statements and uses this as a moment to change course and start funding police forces properly.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The police funding settlement for 2018/19 that we set out delivers an increase in overall police funding.

“We aim to be as clear as possible in communicating it to the public and have repeatedly said that around £270m of the up to £450m increase in police funding next year results from increased Council Tax precept income, which is dependant on PCCs’ decisions.

"Since the funding settlement, almost all PCCs have decided to use this flexibility to raise extra precept income.

“Our Chief Statistician will of course carefully consider the suggestions the UK Statistics Authority has made.”

The Prime Minister's office referred Birmingham Live to the Home Office statement.