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Policing Numbers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:35 pm on 6th December 2010.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities 2:35 pm, 6th December 2010

The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice is having a busy and rather stressful afternoon. I was hoping to ask the Home Secretary about police funding and numbers-and it looked like he thought that she would answer this question too. In any case, may I ask him about the Home Secretary's Cabinet-level spending negotiations? I hope that she has filled him in on what went on. This week, the cross-party association of police officers wrote to the Home Office to ask for the spending review settlement for the police-20% front-end loaded cuts, followed by 6% next year and 8% the year after-to be reopened in order to

"avoid long term damage to policing capability" and to protect the front line. Back in May, the Prime Minister told the BBC:

"Any Cabinet minister...who comes to me and says 'here are my plans and they involve front line reductions' will be sent back to their department to go away and think again."

If the Prime Minister has not told the Home Secretary to go away and think again, will she listen to police chiefs up and down the country urging her to do just that?