Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 19th December 2017.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 1:53 pm, 19th December 2017

I know that the right hon. Lady has been on a bit of a personal journey in her relationship with the police, having previously called for the police to be dismantled and replaced with our own machinery of class rule. We welcome her journey.

The right hon. Lady accuses me of not listening to the police, even though I have spoken to every single police force in England and Wales to fully understand the pressures they face. Before criticising the proposed settlement without investigating the details, I suggest that she speak to the PCCs, who have welcomed it. If she had done her homework, she would also be aware that our demand review was worked out in co-operation with the police-led review. That asked for a similar amount of new investment in 2018. This Government have listened to the police, and we are talking about an increase in investment of £450 million.

The right hon. Lady referred to us doing policing on the cheap. That will come as a bit of a surprise to the British taxpayer, given that as a society, we will be investing £13 billion in our police system next year. That is up from £11.9 billion in 2015-16. She chides me on reserves. Let us remind ourselves that reserves are public money sitting there, and the public we serve have the right to better information about how the police intend to spend that money for the public good.

The right hon. Lady talked about what the proposed settlement means for police officer numbers. She knows that the position of the Government is that our responsibility is to ensure—in close consultation with the police—that the police have the resources that they need. It is for local police and crime commissioners and local chiefs to determine how those resources are to be allocated. That feels like the right approach.