Government Reductions in Policing

Part of Opposition Day — [14th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 7:18 pm on 4th April 2011.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:18 pm, 4th April 2011

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. Our view is that it is important to get the balance right between what the centre does and what the local forces do. Of course we want to leave decision making with the local forces, but we are working with them and ensuring that they will collaborate on those aspects where it makes sense for them to do so in order to make the savings that enable them to reduce their budgets without affecting the front-line services that people want out there in the streets.

No Home Secretary wants to freeze or cut police officers’ pay packages, but with Labour’s record budget deficit these are extraordinary circumstances. That is why I commissioned Tom Winsor to undertake the most comprehensive review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years—not because I want to make savings for their own sake, but because I want to protect police jobs and keep officers on the streets. We are doing everything we can to minimise the effect of the necessary spending reductions on pay. I have spelt out savings today, but we cannot avoid the fact that changes to pay and conditions have to be part of the package.