Police Recruitment

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th January 2001.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:00 am, 8th January 2001

The hon. Gentleman asks me for my assessment of the future. If the Labour party continues in government, by 2003–04 we shall have the largest ever police service in England and Wales. All our successful efforts over the past three and a half years—to cut crime by 10 per cent., to get violent crime down by 4 per cent., to reduce vehicle crime by getting on for 20 per cent. and to cut domestic burglaries by 15 per cent.—will continue; so, too, will high levels of recruitment to the police service.

On the other hand, the past is the best guide to the future when it comes to the Conservatives, so if a Conservative Government were elected, very significant increases in crime and, on the promises already made by the shadow Chancellor, cuts in police spending and recruitment would be likely.