During a statement on Police funding earlier today, I questioned the Minister about the safety of the funding cuts to South Wales Police and Gwent Police forces.
Gerald Jones MP (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney): Despite the dedicated work of officers in Gwent police and South Wales police—my constituency covers parts of both forces—the pressure on frontline policing is greater than it has been for many years. Under the heading “Additional Rule 1” in the documents published today, South Wales police will face a reduction of £13,416,000 and Gwent police, which is one of the smallest forces, will face a reduction of £917,247. That is a cut—a reduction. It is less money whichever way the Minister tries to dress it up. With the Office for National Statistics saying that visible policing is lower than it has been in many a year, how can the Minister justify the Government’s position that they are keeping this country safe?
Nick Hurd MP (Minister for Policing and the Fire Service): Again, I refer the hon. Gentleman to table 1 on the “Provisional change in total direct resource funding compared to 2017/18”—I apologise to Labour Members if they do not have it to hand—which tells me that, if the proposals are accepted, and they are out for consultation, South Wales will see an additional £6.7 million cash increase in investment; and Gwent, which we should note is sitting on reserves worth 42% of its income, will receive a cash increase of £3 million. Again, I do not see how that can be a cut in anyone’s language.