It is for the police authority and chief constable to determine the number of officers in south Wales within the available resource. The Government are determined to help forces protect the front line by reducing costs and bureaucracy.
It is quite clear that there are going to be huge reductions in the number of police officers in south Wales and elsewhere. Will the Minister tell the House exactly when the Conservative party decided that it was no longer interested in being known as the party of law and order?
I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman says. We have to deal with a budget deficit bequeathed to us by the previous Government. The police service spends some £13 billion a year, and it can contribute to the savings that have to be made. Those on the Labour Benches have conceded that police forces can save more than £1 billion a year without affecting the front line.