Lord Waddington (Conservative)
My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he agree that the,
"wholesale amalgamation of the smaller police services . . . will remove local policing further from local people when there is no evidence that it will create a more effective police service"?—[Hansard, Commons, 5/7/94; col. 273.]
Those were the words of the Prime Minister when in opposition in 1994. Furthermore, is it not obvious that a few regional forces will be far more easily controlled by the Home Secretary than the present 43 forces? When, in addition, the Home Secretary has the sweeping powers that he will be given if the police and criminal justice Bill becomes law to give orders to chief constables on how to run their forces, will we not have taken a gigantic step towards a national police force?