But at that point, the police and crime commissioner already had a plan to use all available reserves purely to balance the books because of continued central Government cuts since 2010. I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he would rather see frontline officers on the beat, responding to violent crime, or police stations open. That is the invidious position that sustained central Government cuts have put police and crime commissioners in.
Douglas Ross said he was disappointed that we voted against the police funding settlement earlier this year. I am sorry to have disappointed him. My right hon. Friend Ms Abbott promised him that I would explain why the precept is a fundamentally unfair way to fund police forces. West Yorkshire has double the population of Surrey and four times the level of violent crime, yet through the Government’s police funding settlement, the two can raise exactly the same amount through the precept. Through the same police funding settlement, South Yorkshire can raise 12% of the money lost since 2010, whereas Dorset can raise 32%. It is unjustifiable to for money to be raised in a way that has no bearing on levels of crime or demand on the police.