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We believe that the entire country, including Lancashire, could do with a boost in police numbers to address the changing nature of crime, and as a result we have provided enough money to recruit 6,000 police officers over the next year. Of that, Lancashire will benefit from 153 more.
I am sure, Mr Speaker, you will wish to join me in paying tribute to Lancashire police, who responded over the weekend to the devastating effects of Storm Ciara, alongside all the other emergency services.
The Minister points out that Lancashire is to receive 153 officers under this core grant allocation-style funding, but Lancashire has lost 750 police officers since 2010. On that pattern, we will not regain the total number of officers lost, whereas Surrey, which has lost eight officers since 2010, looks to be gaining hundreds of officers under this funding formula. Can the Minister explain to my constituents why that is fair?
The funding formula has been in place for some time, and there is obviously consternation across the House about the impact it may have, along with a number of the other formulas on which we allocate resources. We will keep this under review, and will do so on this formula, but for the moment the quickest and most efficacious way for us to share out this huge uplift in the number of police officers across the country was using the existing formula, and I hope those 153 officers will be put to good use.