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Part of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit in the Social Housing Sector (Regular Payments) – in the House of Commons at 2:03 pm on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice 2:03 pm, 12th February 2014

There are certainly fewer front-line officers, but that is because of the situation. However, one of the very good responses made by the police—in conjunction with the Government policy of reducing the amount of time-wasting form-filling that they had to do under the previous Government—has been to put a higher proportion of their officers on the front line. Indeed, the projections for the police officer work force suggest that front-line roles will increase from 89% in March 2010 to 93% by March 2015. That seems to me to be a very good use of front-line policing.

I gently point out to the shadow police Minister that the shadow Chancellor, in a burst of honesty last June, said:

“The next Labour government will have to plan on the basis of falling departmental spending.”

I hope, this afternoon, we will not hear a series of Labour Members or even Front Benchers claiming that they would shower more money on the police or that more money would be available for more police officers, because the shadow Chancellor has already said that that will not happen.