Police Reform Bill [Lords]

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Mr. Paice: This short debate has served to bring out very clearly the fact that the Government do intend to use public money to coerce police authorities to employ community support officers. Having criticised others about the wording of the new clause, the Minister is now playing semantics himself. He knows perfectly well that if it is technically deficient, it could be put right if the Government were sympathetic. Our concern is clearly focused on the Government's use of public money through the grant mechanism to encourage or pump-prime the use of community support officers.

We welcome any extra resources that the Government invest in the police force, but the decision about whether to employ community support officers or regular officers should be taken by the chief officer. The Government's intent has been brought out clearly in our debate. I see little point in pursuing the matter now, however, so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Further consideration adjourned—[Mr. Heppell.]

Adjourned accordingly at four minutes to Seven o'clock till Thursday 13 June at half-past Nine o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Stevenson, Mr. George (Chairman)
Ainsworth, Mr. Bob
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Brooke, Annette
Challen, Mr.
Denham, Mr.
Follett, Barbara
Gillan, Mrs.
Hawkins, Mr.
Heppell, Mr.
Hermon, Lady
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Kumar, Dr.
Lucas, Ian
Mercer, Patrick
Munn, Ms.
Osborne, Mr. George
Paice, Mr.
Prentice, Bridget
Stinchcombe, Mr.
Stoate, Dr.

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Prepared 11 June 2002