Scottish forces gave assistance to forces in England through the provision of police support units. During the debate in the House on 11 August, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said:
“I am aware of the excellent role that Scottish police officers played, particularly helping the West Midlands force. I saw for myself their impact when they arrived in Birmingham, and it is very good that our forces can co-operate in that way.”—[Official Report, 11 August 2011; Vol. 531, c. 1081.]
As the Prime Minister made clear on 11 August, Strathclyde police have achieved significant success—particularly in Glasgow—in pursuing gang-related initiatives, including a community initiative to reduce violence. They are committed to working with the Metropolitan police and other forces in England to share best practice in that regard.
During the recess, I spent six days with Lothian and Borders police as part of the parliamentary police scheme. The people with whom I worked were concerned about the possibility that the call on Scottish forces would deny them, for example, any holidays in August next year during the Olympics, and also about the possible impact on the budget of Scottish forces. Is the Secretary of State lobbying to secure adequate recompense for the Scottish forces for the contribution that they have made, and will make in the future, to English policing?
The hon. Gentleman will know that there are arrangements with the Home Office for occasions when police forces are deployed from other parts of the United Kingdom. However, I am sure that the Home Secretary has heard the specific points made by the hon. Gentleman, and I will raise them directly with the Scottish Government.