Policing (Bassetlaw)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 26th October 2009.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw 2:30 pm, 26th October 2009

How many (a) police officers and (b) police community support officers there are in the Bassetlaw constituency; and how many there were in 2004.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Minister of State (Home Office) (Crime and Policing)

Data are unfortunately not collected centrally at a constituency level, but I can give my hon. Friend figures for Nottinghamshire as a whole in due course.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

Luckily for the Minister, I got the figures last Friday from the chief superintendent. We have only 16 police officers covering the whole of the Bassetlaw and Newark division, and that is because all the rest are down in the city of Nottingham, which has had loads of murders. As it now has nothing like that number of murders, is it not time that the Government intervened to get the police authority to shift police back from the cities and into the rural areas and the mining communities where they are needed?

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I get the impression that Nottinghamshire police authority and the chief constable are as thick as thieves. Indeed, I have written letters of complaint regarding unacceptable Newark police behaviour to the chief constable and she gave me the impression that personally she couldn't give a tinker's damn about my...

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Minister of State (Home Office) (Crime and Policing)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. If he looks at the overall figures, he will see that there are 2,380 police officers in Nottingham, which is 57 more than in 1997, and that there are 243 police community support officers in post who were not there when the previous Government were in power. I accept what he says about the operational decisions by the chief constable, but I happen to think that Nottinghamshire police authority should hold the chief constable to account in regard to putting those priorities in place, and that is where my hon. Friend should raise those concerns.

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