The Government’s pledge to put an additional 20,000 officers on our streets sends a clear message that we are committed to giving police the resources they need to tackle the scourge of crime. Hampshire will receive up to £366.5 million of funding next year, an increase of up to £26.1 million on the previous year. In this year alone, the county will benefit from 156 more police officers.
I welcome the increase to Hampshire—and Isle of Wight—constabulary. Does the Minister agree that the increase will enable police in both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, as well as in other areas of the UK, to follow up lower level crime? It causes great concern to all our constituents, but in recent years the police have been under pressure not to investigate it, due to police numbers.
It is obviously an operational matter for chief constables to address where and how they allocate their resources, but I would certainly hope that an increase in the number of police officers will allow them to spend more time on the sort of crimes that assail both my hon. Friend’s community and mine in the county. They perhaps do not attract the attention of the headlines, but nevertheless cause consternation in the communities we represent.