Violent Crime - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:19 pm on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hogan-Howe Lord Hogan-Howe Crossbench 4:19 pm, 29th November 2018

My Lords, I am sorry to interrupt. To return to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, the Minister said that each force has to decide how it applies its funding. Neighbourhood policing has drastically reduced over the last few years; it has been the biggest chunk of the lost 20,000. The problem really, not that it is anyone’s fault, is that this is the part of policing that struggles to make its case. Cybercrime, fraud online and harassment online have gone through the roof, harassment generally has become an offence and sexual offence reporting, including historical offences, has risen by probably 80% in the last four years. These and other types of crime are offences about which we all say something like, “Why are we not doing something about domestic violence or harassment?” That type of offence drags in resources at pace—specialist resources, not merely volume. In comparison, the neighbourhood officer struggles to say, “Actually, I have walked down the street over the last six months and got two informants, arrested three people and intervened in a terrorist plot”. The challenge is how we collectively address neighbourhood policing, partly by resources but also by prioritisation. I think at times we all struggle to say that we did not argue for specialists when we prefer neighbourhood officers.