Skip to main content

Police and Crime Commissioners

Volume 606: debated on Monday 22 February 2016

8. What steps she is taking to encourage police and crime commissioners to support early intervention programmes; and if she will make a statement. (903666)

The Government have supported the first police early innovation leadership academy and provided grant funding for the Early Intervention Foundation. This is really interesting work being done to protect young children. Naturally we will help and encourage chief constables and PCCs up and down the country to help to reduce crime, support victims, and closely engage with their partner agencies, such as the foundation.

The American comedian Eddie Cantor said, “If those currently on the most-wanted list had been the most wanted as children they would no longer be on the most-wanted list.” In that context, will the Minister welcome the work that his Department is doing with the Early Intervention Foundation in creating police leaders’ academies on early intervention, and will he ensure that funding is available so that every police and crime commissioner elected this year can attend such courses, as this is the best crime prevention measure we know?

I praise the work of the Early Intervention Foundation; the work it does is very important. Other agencies also do really important work. We all know that if we can catch them young we can prevent people from turning into the types of criminals that sadly this society sees too often in our prisons.

Following the Government’s troubled families programme, there can be no doubt that early intervention works—it reduces petty crime, encourages school attendance, and gets people into jobs. However, it has become clear—this is why what the Minister is saying is very welcome—that without the active participation of the police such programmes are somewhat ineffectual, so I hope that we will ensure that every chief constable and every commissioner will regard this as a high priority.

I am sure that every chief constable, police and crime commissioner and PCC candidate has heard exactly what my right hon. Friend has said. That is why we have put the money into the foundation and why we are doing a review of the early intervention academy for police leaders, so that we can have proof of the outcomes and let the money follow good resources.

Humberside police has 500 fewer officers than five years ago, across north-east Lincolnshire we have had a 38% rise in violent crime, and sexual offences are up 18%. Is it not the reality that early intervention is not a priority for the police on the ground and that it is being pushed on to ill-resourced local authorities?

I am sure that the Whips Office wrote the hon. Lady’s question, because every single time we hear from the Labour party, it wants more money, and yet its Front Benchers want to cut funding to the police force—[Interruption.] That is the reality.