Policing (England and Wales)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:27 pm on 24th February 2020.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary 6:27 pm, 24th February 2020

As we know, the Labour Mayor is ultimately dependent on funding from the Government. Given the funding available, I am confident that Sadiq Khan has done the very best he can. The issue comes back to the totality of funding and the police funding formula.

The Tories cut the police and they should own it—cuts have consequences. But they also did much worse: they presided over soaring serious and violent crime, and an abysmally low detection and sanction rate—cautions or charges—even for some of the most serious crimes. The latest crime data for the year ending September 2019 was recently published. It shows a 7% rise in offences involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police. That is 46% higher than when comparable recording began—in the year ending March 2011—and the highest on record. That is the Government’s record.

Offences involving firearms hit a low in March 2015 but have risen since. Robbery offences are at a 10-year high. Fraud incidents are up sharply and now there are almost 4 million fraud crimes a year, often impacting on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. Over the long term, the trend in total crime had been downwards, but under successive Tory-led Governments since 2010 that overall progress has stalled. A key part of this is the fact that central Government funding for police and crime commissioners has fallen by 30% in real terms since 2010-11.