In the 12 months to the end of September 1987 recorded crime was 2·6 per cent. higher than in the previous 12 months. This is less than half the long-term rate of increase in recorded crime since the mid-1950s.
Does my hon. Friend agree that, although one of the greatest deterrents against crime must be the ability to be caught, the Thames Valley police force, which he and I share, has the lowest ratio of police to public anywhere in the country? Can he give my constituents and his any hope on this point?
Thames Valley police force has just had an increase, and another increase in manpower is available from 1 April. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary takes into account the changes in population and in the resources available to the police locally, as well as the crime pattern, in deciding on future increases in police manpower. Thames Valley police force have just had a number of additional policemen authorised.