Police Numbers

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:23 pm on 18th January 2001.

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Photo of Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald 4:23 pm, 18th January 2001

As the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has observed: You've got to have feet on the beat to put hands on collars. But there has been a drop of 2,500 in the number of regulars and 1,900 in the number of constables. There are fewer feet on the beat. Robberies are up; violence is up; there is more violent crime, less safety and less confidence on our streets.

There is a crisis today. There is a crisis of violent crime. There is a crisis of public confidence in the criminal justice system. There is certainly a crisis of confidence in the Home Secretary and in his Prime Minister. They promised to be tough on crime. Instead, all they have done is to be tough on crimefighters—all spin and no delivery.

In perhaps a few weeks or a few months—or, if they lose heart, rather longer than that—the Prime Minister will go to the country, and this country will give its judgment on the Government's record of shame. I commend the motion to the House.