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Volume 541: debated on Wednesday 29 February 2012

10. What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on crime levels in Wales. (96379)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with Home Office Ministers on a range of issues relating to crime in Wales.

We have already lost 40 police officers in Gwent. Does the Minister believe that this cut in police numbers will help or hinder the fight against crime?

I visited Gwent police last week, and I was delighted to see that the most recent crime figures show an 11% reduction in crime in that force area. One might have thought that, rather than talking Gwent police down, the hon. Gentleman would offer the force some support.

Does the Minister agree that policing in Wales will be more effective and more accountable following the election of commissioners in November?

Yes I do. I believe that, for the first time, some democratic accountability will be introduced into the policing process in Wales and throughout the United Kingdom.