Police

Part of Science, Technology and Engineering (Careers Information in Schools) – in the House of Commons at 2:55 pm on 13th February 2013.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee 2:55 pm, 13th February 2013

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. Because of his profession, he knows about these issues. I am sure he is an assiduous Member who works tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. One of the public’s first concerns is whether they can see their local police officer—the bobby on the beat—walking around, and whether they can go to the local police station and report crimes and feel safe as a result. Not all of us can have a Dr Who-type TARDIS—I certainly do not—but it is important that we give that visibility in respect of both the physical building and police officers.

Where responsibility for counter-terrorism will lie is not yet settled. The Government are ring-fencing its £563 million budget, and I support that, but there is to be a new landscape of policing, and a decision needs to be made soon as to whether it will stay with the Metropolitan police or move to the National Crime Agency. My distinguished colleague from the Home Affairs Committee, my hon. Friend Mr Winnick, will correct me if I am wrong, but I think we recommended in one of our reports that it should go to the National Crime Agency, as counter-terrorism is a national issue.