Local Policing

Part of Home Department – in the House of Commons at on 26 February 2024.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

My hon. Friend is a doughty champion for his part of Bedfordshire. He is quite right to say that Bedfordshire, in common with many other parts of the country—and indeed with England and Wales as a whole —has a record number of police officers. In the case of Bedfordshire, the number is 1,456, and across England and Wales as a whole we now have over 149,000 officers: that is more than we have ever had before, and over 3,000 more than we had under the last Labour Government.

I speak regularly to Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and the excellent police and crime commissioner in Bedfordshire, Festus Akinbusoye. Of course, how they deploy their record headcount is a matter for them, rather than for Government, but I will certainly mention the issues that my hon. Friend has raised when I next speak to them—I think we are having a meeting quite shortly—and I know that my hon. Friend will mention these issues as well.