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Everybody will remember very well the terrible fire and the consequences of the riots on the streets of Croydon. People would expect promises like that to be kept, would they not? But with this Prime Minister and this Government, they are rapidly learning that such things are said in the moment to look good but are not followed through. Sadly, that is the hallmark of this Government.
The Government are sending the police on a dangerous journey without a route map. Where is the White Paper that sets out the case for these drastic changes to the police and the vision for the police service of the future? Where is the expert analysis of the changing nature of crime and society and therefore of the resource needs of the police? In the absence of all that, the only justification put forward by the Government, as we have heard today, is that despite reductions crime has continued to fall. I have dealt with that, Madam Deputy Speaker. I believe that in the last decade the reduction we saw was linked to the investment in neighbourhood policing and we are now beginning to see signs that crime is on the rise again.
The truth is that this whole process is not being driven by our future needs as a society, or by the changing nature of crime; it is a crude, Treasury-driven process that owes more to an ideological drive to shrink the state than to the good governance of the police and our public services. What we will soon be left with is the police service of the Treasury’s dreams but the public’s worst nightmares.