Ministers regularly meet the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and other MPS officers and officials to discuss a range of matters, including police targets.
Is the Minister aware that in London the police are working to two contradictory crime reduction targets: one set by the Home Office, and the other set by the Metropolitan Police Service? Why is that, and when will the police start working to just one crime reduction target?
If the hon. Gentleman seeks to illuminate me about the contradictory targets, I shall look into the matter. As far as I am aware, there is no such contradiction in targets. The Metropolitan police’s overall contribution to the public service agreement target to reduce crime by 15 per cent. stands. How they achieve that contribution is a matter for that service, just as it is for all other 42 police services.
On 19 October, my constituent, Mr. Alan Angel, was held up in his own home in Northwick Circle, Kenton by three youths armed with a firearm. I want to stress that Mr. Angel has thanked the police for their subsequent actions and response, and for the support that they have given. However, Mr. Angel found out that they were unable to access the CCTV footage from the station to which the three had fled until the Monday morning. Would my right hon. Friend check what protocols and targets are in place for the downloading of footage between London Transport police and the Metropolitan police?
My hon. Friend raises a serious point, which I will look into. I can assure him that no national protocol or target restricts or limits in any way the operational efficiency of the police in disc-dumping CCTV footage. I am happy to meet my hon. Friend and the Brent borough commander, if we need to, to discuss the matter further.
May I ask the Minister about the overall budgeted target work force for London? My local borough commander tells me that we are 700 officers below that target work force across London. Does the Minister really expect the Metropolitan police to hit their targets when they have not the targeted people to do so?
As I have said in written responses, many of those comparisons relate to pre-1997 figures. They cannot be compared—they are like apples and oranges. It is a matter of fact that the resources currently afforded to the Metropolitan police, whether for neighbourhood policing or any other aspects, are at absolute record high levels, as can be seen though their achievement of targets and the reduction of crime throughout London.