Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18 January 1996.

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Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard The Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:00, 18 January 1996

The rise in the figures is explained by the recording criteria, as I have said. I am astonished that the hon. Gentleman did not refer to the fact that, in the Forest Gate and Plaistow divisions of the Metropolitan police—both areas are in his constituency—recorded burglaries fell by nearly 8 per cent. in the 12 months to October 1995 compared with the previous 12-month period. Burglary clear-ups in those divisions rose by 28 per cent. There are now 21,600 constables in the Metropolitan police, more than ever before, and 5,000 more than in 1979.