Since March 2003, overall crime has fallen by 18 per cent., exceeding the 15 per cent. target set out in the Home Office's public service agreement. That reduction is greater than would have been forecast based on socio-economic factors alone, and we are confident that the right policies and systems are in place to continue to cut crime and that they provide the flexibility needed to respond to future economic challenges.
Decisions on the distribution of local resources in response to varying demands are matters for the chief constable and the police authority for the force concerned.
The three-year funding settlement for the years 2008-09 to 2010-11 that we announced last year reflects the Government's continuing commitment to improve policing and reduce crime further. The police service in England and Wales has benefited from a significant increase in resources over a sustained period. On a like-for-like basis Government grant for the police will have increased by over 60 per cent. or over £3.7 billion between 1997-98 and 2010-11.