Community Support Officers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 10th May 2004.

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Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett The Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:30 pm, 10th May 2004

Let us be absolutely clear: a whole range of individuals and organisations have joined together to supplement the amount that has been provided, both through direct funding for CSOs and through the general police grant. We cannot have two different versions of the same budget from the Opposition. Either the Treasury spokespeople for the Conservative party are right or they are wrong when they say that there will be necessary pain in reducing budgets. When that budget is applied across the board, other than to schools and the NHS, it is inevitable that there will be cuts. Under our proposals, however, and under the forthcoming spending review, there will be additional resources to pay both for additional CSOs and for the continuing rise in the police service, which has shown an increase of 6,000 in the past year alone. With a Conservative budget, cuts would be bound to occur in every part of our service and every part of our country.