Home Office Questions

11th April 2016
Mike Penning answers MPs’ questions.
T2. My right hon. Friend may be aware that I am participating in the police parliamentary scheme, seeing at first hand the excellent work of Greater Manchester police. What is being done to ensure that there are adequate and safe levels of community policing in my constituency? [904341]
I congratulate all hon. Members who take part in these parliamentary schemes. I would also recommend the fire scheme and the armed forces scheme. With the Chancellor’s help, we have managed to protect budgets, subject to the precept. For anyone interested in neighbourhood policing, I would say that those who have a Conservative police and crime commissioner and a Conservative mayor have more chance of having more officers on the beat.

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T6. The Home Secretary recently said at the launch of the Conservatives’ PCC election campaign that “the Conservative Government has protected overall police spending for the next four years”.However, Sir Andrew Dilnot, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has confirmed House of Commons Library research that shows that forces will see a £160 million cut next year alone. In the light of that, and given the importance of the upcoming elections, will the Home Secretary admit that funding for our police forces has not been protected and is being cut again for each of the next four years? [904345]
If we take the precept into account, we can see that police funding has been protected over the past four years. The one person we did not listen to was the Labour shadow Secretary of State, because he wanted to cut it by 10%.

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What recent discussions have Ministers had with chief constables about the growing menace of scrambler bikes being ridden recklessly on our roads, with the potential to cause great accidents, usually by young men wearing masks and without number plates?
I had those sorts of discussions when I was at the Department for Transport, and we continue to have them. Unlicensed, unauthorised and unsafe vehicles on the roads are a menace, and the police should use all the powers they have.

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Over the past 12 months, a further 39 uniformed police officers and PCSOs have been lost from Enfield’s streets, while violent crime, including assault and possession of a dangerous weapon, has increased by 13%. Ten days ago, there was an attempted drive-by shooting in my constituency. That situation in a London suburb is totally unacceptable and very frightening for residents. There can be no doubt that the hollowing out of neighbourhood policing is putting public safety at risk. What does the Minister intend to do about this situation?
What we intend to do, with the help of the Chancellor, is to make sure that the Metropolitan police has got the funding that it asked for, not to cut funding by 10%, as the Labour party requested. Neighbourhood policing is an operational matter for the commissioner and the Mayor, but I repeat what I said earlier: looking at the statistics, we can see that if we want more police on the beat, we should vote Conservative.



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