Government Reductions in Policing

Part of Opposition Day — [14th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 8:52 pm on 4th April 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nigel Mills Nigel Mills Conservative, Amber Valley 8:52 pm, 4th April 2011

It would be impossible not to agree with that; it has to be the way forward for all the services that have interactions with each other to make those interactions more effective and to avoid the duplication that can arise.

People must feel that the police are on their side. In the election campaign, I suspect that the following concern was expressed to every one of us time and again: “What do the police do? We never see them. They only want to tackle innocent motorists, and they don’t tackle serious crimes.” That is why the introduction of elected police commissioners—I have the pleasure of serving on the Public Bill Committee dealing with that—is a hugely powerful step. It is a way of saying, “Look, here is someone who can ensure that what the police do is what the public actually want them to do, and not what the chief constable, or the Government, might want them to do. Here is someone who is accountable to the public for delivering on police priorities.”

Finally, let me say that it would have been a far more constructive use of parliamentary time if today we had debated those aspects of the Winsor review that we welcome or have concerns about. Instead, we have had what must be about the third debate on police funding, which has more to do with playing party games before the local elections than trying to improve the police force. Let us instead look at the challenges the police face, and work constructively to get the best and the most efficient, but also the most effective, police force that we can for all our constituents.