I have regular discussions with chief constables and police authorities on a range of issues about policing. Decisions about the number of police officers and other police staff engaged by Northumbria police are a matter for the chief constable and the police authority.
Recorded crime across Tyne and Wear fell by 14% in 2010 and has fallen by 47% since 2003. That has made a real difference in the lives of my constituents, but they are now naturally worried to learn that this Government apparently regard the big society as a substitute for proper policing. What reassurance can the Minister offer?
I hope the hon. Lady will be reassured by the comments of the new chief constable of Northumbria, who was previously the temporary chief constable. She said recently:
“I am determined that we will continue to reduce crime and protect police services that local communities across Northumbria want”.
She went on to say that her absolute priority was to improve front-line policing and the service delivered to communities.