Police Funding, Crime and Community Safety

Part of Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] — Transitional State Pension Arrangements for Women – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 24th February 2016.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Home Secretary 5:00 pm, 24th February 2016

I will come on to both points. I am doing fine, thanks. I hope that the hon. Gentleman can see that I will be standing up for police forces, even if he is not. I will come on to both points he raises, because I do not think that his Government are telling the correct story about what they are doing to the police. They are not providing real-terms protection; they are cutting the police. Ministers also stand at the Dispatch Box and say crime is falling; the Policing Minister said it just days ago—complacently. They fail to point out that the crime figures they quote do not include online crime, which is about to come into the crime statistics for the first time. In the last six years, crime has changed—it has moved online—but the relevant figures have not been counted, so I would not be so complacent if I were him.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned what was said at the autumn statement about what I was meant to have said. What I would say to him is that there is far too much spin coming from the Government Dispatch Box. He should look at what I actually said. I am about to come straight to that issue.

I have talked about the specialist and firearms units we need to protect the public. However, neighbourhood policing is crucial, is it not, if we are to collect the intelligence to combat the terror threat. My worry is that if the Government proceed in this Parliament with year-on-year cuts, they will break up the neighbourhood teams. Let me take the House in detail through what I am saying and through the figures we are presenting.

Analysis by the House of Commons Library of next year’s police grant settlement to individual forces shows that they will not be protected in real terms; in fact, they will not even be cash-protected. In 2015-16, the overall allocation to individual forces, excluding special payments to London, was £7,452 million. In 2016-17, it will be £7,421 million—a £30 million cash reduction, or £160 million in real terms.