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Crime and Security Bill

Part of Bill Presented — Pedicabs Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:36 pm on 18th January 2010.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Labour, Harrow East 8:36 pm, 18th January 2010

I was simply using the device of a Second Reading debate to mention other things that could have been explored but were not. I was not asking for a debate with the hon. Member for Eastleigh, although I would be happy to have one if that is the best response he can make.

There are two further points that we need to address. I do not think that either side has got them right yet. There needs to be much more accountability at local level, and we have not got there yet. Police commissioners are a daft idea-that is not the way to do it-and if Boris Johnson is the answer, it must have been a silly question. The only new moneys that the Metropolitan police will get over the next two years will be the 2.7 per cent. increase from this Government. From Boris Johnson, they will get absolutely nothing, and we will make sure that the people of London know that.

Lastly, I realise that this matter is not appropriate for a fifth Session Bill, but at some point the House will need to address the issue of police finance. It cannot be right that the lowest contribution to the overall budget gathered locally from any police force is just 18 per cent., while the highest is 56 per cent. A couple of years ago, that disparity worked out at £80 a head as opposed to £260 a head. These disparities exist for a whole range of historic political reasons that make no sense now. Of course policing in the south-west is different from that in the north-east, but the price should not be as disparate as that.

These three issues will have to be addressed in the near future, hopefully by a Labour Government in power, but beyond that, and beyond my little critiques-unusual for me-about areas where the Government have wimped, especially on mobile phones in prisons and wheel clamping, I commend the Bill to the House. I shall be happy to come back on Report and look at what the Committee has done.

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