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Police

Part of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit in the Social Housing Sector (Regular Payments) – in the House of Commons at 3:14 pm on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of David Ruffley David Ruffley Conservative, Bury St Edmunds 3:14 pm, 12th February 2014

Those are truly heroic figures and great testimony to the police men and women in the Leicestershire constabulary, to the police and crime panel and to the police and crime commissioner. I have no doubt also that my hon. Friend spends a great deal of time scrutinising and holding the police service in his constituency to account, as do I with my Suffolk colleagues.

In the last year of the Labour Government, Suffolk constabulary, to be parochial just for one moment, saw a principal formula of £41,498,000—again, these are cash figures. In 2014-15, that is projected to rise in cash terms to—wait for this, Madam Deputy Speaker—£43,627,000. If we add in council tax support funding, specific grants and the business rate contribution, which has latterly taken over from the revenue support grant, the total general and specific grants received by Suffolk constabulary in the last year of the Labour Government amounted to £70,969,000. In 2014-15—the year that is the subject of this debate on the grant settlement—the figure is £77,915,000. Total funding for Suffolk in the last year of the Labour Government was £110,335,000; in 2014-15—that will rise to £116,579,000.

I give those details simply to illustrate that this caricature of cuts really does not wash. Although we had 51,000 recorded crimes 10 years ago, Suffolk constabulary posted 38,000 crimes in 2013—a significant fall in our county. Policemen and women in Suffolk deserve the credit for that, which is proof—if proof were needed—that they are doing more and being more productive, against a very tight financial backdrop.

We have had a great deal of shroud waving today and heard a lot of criticism of what should really be a source of celebration—the most modernising package of police reform in over half a century and a clear-eyed and immensely capable Home Secretary seeing through this difficult agenda with much less hostility, criticism and obstruction than anyone would have predicted before the last election. It is in that spirit of purposeful reform, which is embodied in my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, that I conclude my remarks.