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Police Officer Safety

Part of Community Pharmacies – in the House of Commons at 5:14 pm on 2nd November 2016.

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Photo of James Berry James Berry Conservative, Kingston and Surbiton 5:14 pm, 2nd November 2016

I think this Government were right to preside over a regime that has seen crime drop to an all-time low, which is why I come on to subject of budget. All of the things that I have just mentioned and which the hon. Member for Halifax mentioned do require money—there is no getting away from that. This Government have difficult decisions to make about the policing funding formula, which they are currently considering. It is important to remember that, in the last Budget, police funding was protected. The police said that they were grateful for that, and I am pleased that Conservative London Members were able to meet the Chancellor and put their case at this time of unprecedented threat from terrorism. Yes, I accept that the police need money, but as well as money they also need for us in this House to give them the tools they need to do their job.

As a Member of Parliament, I stood on a platform of giving the police the tools they need to do their job. We did that in this House with the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. We have all heard stories from police officers in our constituencies about having to deal with somebody who has taken a novel psychoactive substance, has gone berserk, been impossible to restrain and assaulted them. We provided the police with the tools to do their job there, and we are trying to do so again with the Investigatory Powers Bill. We want to give them the tools to tackle the current technology that criminals are using.

I hope that when Lyn Brown winds up, she will reflect on how Ms Abbott came across to police officers when she made a litany of complaints about that Bill at the Dispatch Box yesterday. How will police officers have felt about that when this Government are trying, through that Bill, to give them the tools they need to do their job—the powers that they have asked this Government to provide for them? For my part, I will continue to support our brave police officers, and I know that the hon. Member for Halifax will as well. I will continue to ask the House to give the police the tools they need, and I will support the Government’s amendment tonight, to do our bit to keep our brave police officers safe, so that when those officers face danger, they know that our laws and our politicians are behind them to keep them safe.