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 5:32 pm on 24th February 2016.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:32 pm, 24th February 2016

The right hon. Gentleman is trying to make an argument where there is none, because he knows full well the processes of determining the comprehensive spending review, and the discussions that take place between Departments and the Treasury that result in the final figures that the Chancellor announces. In truth, the Labour party decided what its line was going to be on police funding, and when the Chancellor stood up and protected police budgets, instead of sensibly changing that line, it decided to carry on with it anyway because one should never let the facts get in the way of an argument.

The right hon. Gentleman argues that the inclusion of cybercrime in the crime statistics will show that crime has doubled, but the uncomfortable truth for the Opposition is that crime has fallen by more than a quarter since 2010, according to the independent crime survey for England and Wales. That is one of the most authoritative surveys of victims of crime in the world. It is administered by the independent Office for National Statistics, which captures the experience of more than 30,000 households. The survey dates back to the 1980s and shows that crime is at historic lows. People in this country are as safe as they have ever been.

The ONS has been clear: its preliminary estimate on fraud and cybercrime does not mean that crime is rising, and certainly not that it has doubled. In fact, it confirms what we have long known, which is that such crimes have for too long gone unreported and unrecorded. That is why the Government welcome the work of the ONS to capture those crimes.

The right hon. Gentleman notes the heightened threat of a terrorist attack and the important role of the police in preventing such attacks, and I will go on to speak about that.