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Expenditure Reductions (Policing)

Volume 515: debated on Wednesday 8 September 2010

9. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the effects on front-line policing in Wales of planned expenditure reductions. [Official Report, 16 September 2010, Vol. 515, c. 3-4MC.] (13141)

Both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with Cabinet and ministerial colleagues on policing matters in Wales. We recognise that reductions in budgets will be challenging to our police forces, but will also present opportunities to refocus policing priorities and make operational efficiencies.

I thank the Minister for his response. Given how successful the Safer Caerphilly community safety partnership has been in substantially reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, will the Secretary of State give an assurance that she will fight any plans to cut funding for next year?

The question of funding for the police is a matter that will have to await the comprehensive spending review, but I am heartened by the comments of the National Audit Office and the Wales Audit Office about how it should be possible to effect reductions of £1 billion without any effect at all on front-line policing.