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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 Nick Herbert Nick Herbert The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice 2:35 pm, 6th December 2010

First, may I say that I am absolutely astonished by the right hon. Gentleman's attack on the figure of only 11% of total police strength being visible and available to the public at any one time? That was the finding of a report by Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary, and if he takes issue with it, perhaps he will speak to the inspectorate. I think it is disgraceful that he should attack the figure in that way. The report stated:

"The fact is that general availability, in which we include neighbourhood policing and response, is relatively low."

The right hon. Gentleman also quoted the chief constable of Greater Manchester police. In announcing the changes that he was making to the force, the chief constable said that

"the end result will be more resources put into frontline policing and a more efficient and effective service for the people of Greater Manchester."

Instead of scaremongering in this way, and instead of attacking the correction that we are having to make, perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will accept responsibility for bequeathing the deficit to this country that has meant that we have had to deal with public expenditure.