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Police Forces (Cost)

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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10

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the cost of the maintenance of the police forces of England and Wales at their present strength; and how much it would cost to bring these forces up to the strength which he estimates they should at present attain.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Welsh Affairs
(Sir David Maxwell Fyfe)

The cost of the police in England and Wales is now about £68 million a year, of which half is paid by the Exchequer. If all existing vacancies in police establishments were filled, the extra cost would be about million a year.

Does the Home Secretary agree that owing to the forces being under strength they are greatly overworked and that the extra money would be money well spent in countering the prevalence of crime?

I entirely agree, and would add only that the most pressing problem, as the hon. and learned Gentleman knows, is in the big cities.