Budget Special: pounds 450m for law and order

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The police and prisons were given a pounds 450m boost yesterday, underlining the importance placed upon law and order as a key issue in the general election.

But most of the 3.7 per cent rise in police funding will be eaten up by inflation, while the pounds 230m jail money is needed to contain the escalating inmate population. As part of the extra funding for the police pounds 40m has been made available for chief constables to recruit 2,000 officers in the coming year.

The budget for the probation service remains the same, as does the pounds 12m grant for Victim Support. While the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will rise from about pounds 200m to pounds 208. Privately financed extra closed circuit television schemes are to be encouraged.