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The West Midlands police service has suffered a £175 million cut and the loss of 2,000 police officers. With violent crime up, gun crime up, knife crime up and burglaries up, fear stalks the streets in too many communities in the west midlands. Today’s settlement is a cut in real terms. It passes the buck to hard-pressed council tax payers, and it simply does not go far enough to put back on the beat the 500 officers whom we badly need in Birmingham and the west midlands. I pay tribute to the members of our police service, who have been nothing short of heroic, but as the thin blue line is drawn ever thinner, is it not the case that the Government are failing in the first duty of any Government, which is to ensure the safety and security of their citizens?