Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Crime (Metropolitan Police Area)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th February 2000.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:00 am, 14th February 2000

On the last point, I want police numbers to start to rise. That is why we will put in the additional funds—£35 million in the next financial year and many millions more in the following two financial years—to ensure that the police are able to recruit an additional 5,000 officers over and above the 12,500 that they say they were planning to recruit in that three-year period in any event. However, those officers will be best used when the police service is working at optimum efficiency.

It is a matter of record that under the previous Administration, the number of officers in the Metropolitan police service was cut by 2,000 between 1992 and 1998; that is the biggest cut that any force has ever had to suffer. None the less, owing to good leadership in the Metropolitan police service, crime was reduced to a significant extent in that period. We have to ensure that the investment is made in the police service, not least in London, so that the police can build on that sort of record.

I accept that the responsibility for getting crime down is not one for the police service alone. We have placed a statutory duty on local authorities to be involved in crime partnerships. As I announced this morning, targets will be set for local authorities as well as for the police service. The targets announced today by my hon. Friend the Minister of State and I were set by the chief of police and they are due to be confirmed by the police authorities in due course.

On the question of the range of crimes, we believe that domestic burglary, vehicle crime and robbery in the main metropolitan areas are among the crimes that cause the greatest concern to the public. Police services that deal effectively with those crimes are likely to be those that are generally the most effective in dealing with other crimes as well.