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

I am very happy to let the hon. Gentleman into a secret: we do have a hidden agenda. It involves providing thousands more CSOs and thousands more police officers at the same time, and decentralising training from the current residential arrangements so that people can be nearer to home and get more into the three months' training for uniformed officers. That is being welcomed by the Police Federation and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

We have heard the comments of the shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, on the budget for the 40,000 extra police officers. That was to come from the abolition of the immigration and nationality directorate, but when we announced a month ago that we were going to reduce headquarters costs, the right hon. Gentleman said that that was an outrage and a disgrace. He will not even help us to reduce the administration costs, let alone switch the whole budget into paying for the police force.