Police Funding

Wales – in the House of Commons on 23rd March 2022.

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Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the impact of the level of police funding for Wales on crime.

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

On levels of crime, Office for National Statistics data for the year ending September 2021 show that crime levels per capita in Wales are below the national average across England and Wales. As for funding, this Conservative Government will always be the party of law and order, and that is why I am pleased to be able to say that we are putting £820 million into policing next year, an increase of £40 million.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

In the nearly 13 years the Government have been in power, police staffing has fallen by 25,000. Across the UK, there are 7,000 fewer police community support officers on the streets than there were in 2010. In Wales, the Welsh Labour Government, which does not have jurisdiction over policing, have stepped in and funded 500 PCSOs and will fund a further 100. Does that not show that the Tories are happy to see rising crime and an increase in victims, and it is only Labour which is taking action to keep our communities safe?

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

What it shows is that the Welsh Government will have had a record increase in spend of around £2.5 billion over the next couple of financial years. What I can also tell the hon. Lady is that 603 additional police officers are being allocated for Wales, 479 have taken that opportunity and there are still 100 vacancies. As somebody who spent nine years as a special constable, I recommend to anyone who wants to serve their community that they should consider joining a police force in Wales.

Photo of Gerald Jones Gerald Jones Shadow Minister (Wales), Opposition Whip (Commons)

English police forces are fully reimbursed by the Government for the cost of training police officers. In Wales, the Home Office has reimbursed only half the cost, leaving Welsh police forces with a shortfall of over £2 million. Will the Minister and the Secretary of State persuade their Cabinet colleagues to meet the historical funding shortfall in full, so that Welsh police forces are no longer penalised and are in future treated equally with English ones?

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

This is actually a quite complex problem, and far more complex perhaps than we have time for in this forum. The real problem is that the Welsh Government are failing to discuss with the Home Office how the apprenticeship scheme works. I urge the hon. Gentleman to talk to his colleagues in the Welsh Labour Government, get them to recognise the apprenticeships schemes and ensure that police officers are properly trained and police forces fully refunded.