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Police Funding

Volume 648: debated on Monday 29 October 2018

9. If he will take steps to secure additional funding for police forces with multiple cities in their authority area. (907303)

The Minister for Policing has spoken to all police forces about the demands that they face. We have increased police funding by over £460 million this year, including by providing additional flexibility through the council tax precept.

The Home Secretary will be aware that the South Wales police and crime commissioner, Alun Michael, is lobbying the Home Office for additional funding because Cardiff, as a capital city, receives no additional funding despite hosting major sporting and cultural events. Will the Home Secretary support Mr Michael’s bid and deliver new funding for the South Wales police authority area?

The Minister for Policing has met the hon. Gentleman’s local force—I believe he actually met the hon. Gentleman to discuss the issue—and we are giving the matter careful consideration.

Last week, the police force in Chelmsford, Essex, and its local partners came first in the country for the national Pubwatch scheme, which has reduced violent crime at night by 45%. Will the Home Secretary praise Essex police and continue to help to fund our frontline?

Essex police force has my full congratulations on what it has achieved, which shows what can be done to tackle serious violence with creative thinking. Indeed, I may well invite the force to the cross-party serious violence taskforce.

I associate myself with the Home Secretary’s remarks on the tragedy in Leicester and on the horrific events in Pittsburgh. Our thoughts and prayers should be with the family and friends of the slaughtered and with the people of Pittsburgh.

The Home Secretary will be aware that the National Audit Office has clearly set out how the Government have failed to protect police funding. Does he accept that this is a mark of shame and is putting the public at risk? Since 2010, over 21,000 police officers have been cut under the Tory Government’s austerity policy. All our constituents can see the consequences in delays in responding to 999 calls and in rising violent crime. Will we see the Chancellor today offer any additional funding for policing? The fear must be that the Government will not even properly fund the police pension settlement.

The right hon. Lady is right to talk about policing and the incredible work that the officers and staff do, but it is worth reminding the House that Labour planned to cut police spending by 5% to 10% had it won the 2015 election. Labour did promise an increase in 2017, but it was not enough, because we increased police funding by more than Labour promised—by £460 million. Labour went on to vote against that increase. Not a single Labour MP voted for an increase in police funding when they had the opportunity, so we will not take any lectures from Labour on policing.