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Police Patrols

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

18. What his most recent estimate is of the proportion of the working week spent on patrol by police officers in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England. (295143)

In my county, the number of police officers on patrol has fallen by 30 per cent. When the Minister tried to solve the problem, did he go to the permanent secretary and say, “How do we solve the problem?” and did the permanent secretary reply, “Well, let’s just abolish the statistics”? Because that is what they have done: they have abolished the statistics, so nobody knows how many police are on patrol. [Interruption.] Yes is the answer.

Self-evidently, the hon. Gentleman and I will disagree on this matter. Whatever is happening overall, crime is down 36 per cent., including 4 per cent. last Thursday. Overall, the police are doing a good job driving down crime, in stark contrast to when the hon. Gentleman’s party was in office.