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Police Officer Numbers

Volume 556: debated on Monday 7 January 2013

Home Office Ministers and officials receive regular representations on policing issues, including on the number of front-line police officers. The most recent representations received were questions 10 and 18 this afternoon.

Can the Home Secretary explain why Tower Hamlets has lost 17% of its police and community support officers since 2010, when her Government came to power, while also seeing crime rise by over 9% in the same period?

How many PCSOs should be employed by a particular police force is a decision that will be taken by that police force. The Metropolitan police force has indicated that it wants to change the number of PCSOs in order to increase the number of police constables it has available.

Will the Home Secretary join me in paying tribute to the young police officer who sadly died on his way to an emergency call on Saturday? In recognising this tragic loss, will she also take the opportunity to recognise the role that rural police officers play in sparsely populated areas such as North Yorkshire?

Yes, I indeed pay tribute to PC Andrew Bramma, who, as my hon. Friend said, died following a collision while answering an emergency call. Once again, this shows the dangers that our police officers face on a day-to-day basis. Our sympathies are with him, his family and his colleagues. I would also like to offer my sympathies to the family of PC Tony Sweeney, QPM, who died on 27 December after falling ill on his return from work. Our police officers bravely go about their duties day by day; we owe them a great debt.