Police

Part of Science, Technology and Engineering (Careers Information in Schools) – in the House of Commons at 2:01 pm on 13th February 2013.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 2:01 pm, 13th February 2013

We gave a clear indication—[Interruption.] The Minister can say what he likes, but when we were in government, we gave a clear figure of a 12% reduction. We are now two years away from a general election, and we will have to look at these matters again at that stage. I made it clear when I was sitting where the Minister is now sitting that there would be a 12% reduction. Having pledged to introduce 3,000 more police officers, he is now proposing a budget cut of 20% on behalf of the Tory-Liberal Democrat Government. That is the clear difference between us, and I suspect that my right hon. and hon. Friends will recognise that.

If we were talking only about police numbers, perhaps we could have an honest debate, but this Government also are making it harder to get CCTV, reducing the use of DNA evidence to catch criminals and cutting crime prevention budgets. They also spent £100 million of taxpayers’ money on the elections for police and crime commissioners, which attracted a 13% turnout. They are weakening counter-terror powers, with the result that people such as Ibrahim Magag can drive away in a taxi while under a terrorism prevention and investigation measure—[Interruption.] The Minister accuses me of being right wing. If it is right wing to want to ensure that my constituents are safe on the streets, I plead guilty. If it is right wing to want those who commit offences to be put into jail or on community sentences to prevent reoffending, I plead guilty.