Skip to main content

Metropolitan Police Funding

Volume 622: debated on Monday 6 March 2017

13. What recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of her Department’s funding for the Metropolitan police. (909058)

I will not comment on the first part of the hon. Gentleman’s point, but I would say that we can be very clear that the Metropolitan police has the resources it needs to police London. It is the best-funded force in the country in terms of direct resource funding per head of population, and it also has the most officers per head of population.

Ilford North residents worried about bread and butter crime and policing on issues such as burglary feel unlucky because the average London taxpayer pays £61 a year to subsidise the national work of the Metropolitan police. Given that, will the Government accept the recommendation of Sir Richard Mottram’s panel and provide an additional £107 million a year to fund the vital national work of the Metropolitan police?

Clearly, the Metropolitan police have a role to play in that national context that is different from other police forces. The review of the NICC—national and international capital city—contribution, which the Metropolitan police has outlined in conversations about the police funding formula review, will be done in line with that funding formula review.

Of equal importance to ensuring adequate funding for the Met police is ensuring proper funding for West Yorkshire police. There are real concerns about the use of firearms in my constituency, where firearms offences have risen by a third during the past four years. Will Ministers ensure that West Yorkshire police have the resources necessary to get these weapons off our streets?

The hon. Lady just highlighted the cross-party calls from across this House to see that police funding formula review work done, ensuring that we are properly reflecting things. The current formula is immensely out of date, and it is well known and well accepted that that needs to be reviewed. I therefore look forward to her support in that review work.

Just over a year ago, the Chancellor promised real-terms protection for police funding, but the Met faces real-terms cuts of £47 million, Manchester faces a £12 million one and West Yorkshire faces a £9 million one—England and Wales as a whole faces a massive £200 million cut. That has consequences, with violent crime deprioritised, domestic violence victims ignored and neighbourhood policing eroded. All of that has been evidenced by Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary, yet we have heard nothing from the Minister except complacency. Who should the public believe: the Minister of broken promises or the independent HMIC?

I appreciate the tone in which the hon. Lady has asked the question. If she actually looks at the HMIC report, she will see that it is clear that this is not about levels of funding; the report is very much about how the police use the funding they have. I gently point out to her that, if they are using the precept abilities they have, not only is every single police force in the country, bar one, protected, but indeed, this year overall we are seeing an increase in the resources for police forces. Even in London, the police have seen a £30 million increase in their reserves, which means there has been money that they have not used.