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My hon. Friend is right to raise the issue of knife crime prevention orders. One problem is that the issue is not the state of the law, but policing capacity.
The National Audit Office also said:
“The Home Office’s light touch approach to overseeing police forces means it does not know if the police system is financially sustainable. It lacks a long-term plan for policing and significant gaps remain in its understanding of demand for police services and their costs.”
And this brazen Home Secretary expects us to join him in the Lobby tonight.
Let me move on to the precept, because I cannot leave any discussion about the funding of the police without mentioning how Ministers insist on talking as if allowing PCCs to raise more money through the precept is somehow new central Government funding. I would have thought that Home Office Ministers might have learnt from the admonition of the chair of UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, who recommended that
“the Home Office’s Head of Profession for Statistics speak to communications colleagues about the importance of clear public statements about police funding and ensure they understand the structure of police funding.”