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Local Government Funding: Crime and Disorder

Volume 669: debated on Monday 13 January 2020

6. What recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the effect of reductions in funding for local government on levels of crime and disorder. (900105)

This Department has ongoing discussions with the Home Office on multiple issues, including tackling crime. The provisional local government finance settlement confirmed an increase of £2.9 billion in resources for local government this year. This Government are also providing targeted funding support for partnership working between the police, councils and other partners.

The front five pages of the Cambridge News today detail a series of knife crime incidents, drug dealing and general social disorder, which is causing huge concern to my constituents. When I talk to the police about it, they tell me that one of the key reasons is the cuts to all those preventive, early intervention services that have happened over the last few years. Can the Government today please look again at those cuts to local government? They are not cost-effective; they are costing us more and causing huge crime levels and misery.

I genuinely thank the hon. Gentleman for raising this issue. I know that he raises crime in his constituency regularly in the House, including in his Westminster Hall debate late last year. The real-terms increase in the funding settlement for next year does recognise the critical services that councils are delivering, including keeping communities safe. As part of the Government’s drive to recruit 20,000 police officers across the country, 62 are already being recruited in his force area. I am very happy to work with him and discuss it with him in the weeks ahead.

It is with great regret that Humberside’s Labour police and crime commissioner allowed Winterton police station to close. In contrast to that, Conservative-run North Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils have funded a very innovative safe and sound grant to help elderly residents to stay safe in their home with free security. Is not the real challenge that simply not enough councils and police forces are working closely enough together to share resources, and will the Minister do more to ensure that they do?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. He raises a really important point about the need for councils and police forces to work together. I commend the work that his Conservative police and crime commissioner is doing, and I highlight the Government’s commitment to recruit 20,000 police officers across our country, with 6,000 police officers being recruited in the next year.