Police Funding: `More police does not equal less crime'

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The Independent Online
PAUL BOATENG, the Home Office Minister, accused the Opposition of playing "party political games" after Tories and Liberal Democrats said the Government was running down the police service.

He said increasing police numbers did not automatically cut the crime rate and it was time the debate moved on from "sterile and simplistic" arguments over the number of officers on the beat. Opening a Commons debate on police funding, Mr Boateng said an Audit Commission report had concluded that success in solving crime did not depend solely on the number of officers available.

"An even more telling finding from the commission was that some forces with the biggest reduction in numbers of police officers have also recorded some of the largest increases in the percentage of crimes detected."

The minister admitted the public felt reassured by the number of police on the streets, but stressed that new technology meant that there were better ways to use public funds.