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The Minister for Borders and Immigration (Mr. Phil Woolas): Is it my turn now, Mr. Deputy Speaker? My apologies for not being quick to get to my feet, but I was listening to the speech by the hon. Member for Reigate (Mr. Blunt) with some sadness. I shall explain why, but before I do so, I pass on apologies from the Minister for
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Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing, and the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Mr. Campbell) who could not be at the Dispatch Box because of Committee duties. That is why you will have to put up with me this evening, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

I was looking forward to this debate because I thought that I would find out about the views of hon. Members across the House, and the views of those on the Opposition Front Bench. We did achieve the former, and we heard some very thoughtful speeches, to which I will respond in a moment—but sadly, what we heard from the Opposition Front Bench was a repeat of a speech that was delivered yesterday. I do not know what the rules and procedure of the House are concerning informing the House first, but if we have an Opposition debate it is important that we find out something new, instead of the single transferable speech that we heard, not from the Liberal Democrats, but from the hon. Member for the front page—sorry, the Front Bench.

Chris Grayling: You’ve used that joke before as well.

Mr. Woolas: Yes, and it was funny then, and it is funny now. I am going to keep on using it, because it is obviously hitting home.

The hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne) made a thoughtful speech. He described our procedures as a legal whirling dervish. He described the shadow Home Secretary as dangerously Napoleonic and Caesarist—language often heard in “The Dog and Duck” in Eastleigh, I am sure—and he accused my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary of populist punitiveness. I can assure the House, having worked closely alongside the Home Secretary, that she does not go in for populist punitiveness. She has yet to tell me what it means, but I am sure that it was well intended.

The right hon. Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz), the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, made a thoughtful speech on the analysis— [ Interruption. ] My right hon. Friend is in his place, as he always is. He made a thoughtful analysis of the figures on police numbers, and got behind those figures to the issue of the allocation of police time, which is the really important point. The figures that he pointed out with regard to Gloucestershire and other police authorities were important. He talked about equipment compatibility, and I assure him that the National Police Improvement Agency is looking at that issue. He raised the case of Lincolnshire, in particular. We also thank my right hon. Friend for his Committee’s report, and his work on early intervention is important. This was one of the biggest gaps in the speech of the shadow Home Secretary. I was looking forward to his analysis of the causes of crime, but detail on that subject was thin on the ground. The Chairman of the Select Committee, on the other hand, gave us a thoughtful analysis of early intervention.

The hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Malins) gave an extremely interesting speech, clearly based on his experience. He put forward practical solutions focusing on how people in custody, particularly young men—he was right to refer to them—should be given more instruction, education and opportunities when they leave custody. There was a strange coming together of his ideas and those of the hon. Member for Monmouth (David T.C. Davies), who spoke from his experience of being a special constable. On these Benches, we recognise and
24 Feb 2009 : Column 215
applaud him for that, despite our party political differences. It is good for Parliament that Members undertake such duties, and there are Members in our party who do so as well. There was an interesting coming together of the two analyses. They were different in their premises, but similar in their conclusions, and they concerned what more can be done to give young men—not just young men, but those young men in particular—that added work experience. The hon. Member for Monmouth was good enough not to play yah-boo politics, which some have done in this debate, and to acknowledge the good things that have taken place. That gave his criticisms greater force, and we take those points on board.

The hon. Member for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Ellwood) stood up for his constituency by calling for more resources for Dorset, and I now turn to that point. The resources provided to Dorset police authority have gone up by 47 per cent. since 1997, which is a 12 per cent. increase in real terms. I will come to this morning’s report in The Times in a moment, but police numbers in the hon. Gentleman’s authority area have increased by 179, to 1,463 officers, under this Government.

Mr. Ellwood: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Woolas: Could I move on? It is discourteous not to respond to all the points.

My hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara), given his family experience—his sons are police officers—quite rightly pointed out the rather trivial nature of the Opposition slogan “the broken society”, which simply serves to talk down our country. This Government have never claimed that there are no problems in our society; of course there are—but my hon. Friend pointed out the end result of the Opposition’s policy. Opposition Members should look in the mirror in the morning and ask themselves a question. If they talk about reining in the horns of the public sector and reducing public expenditure, they cannot in all credibility come to this House and call for measures that would involve more resources, or criticise us for not providing them— [ Interruption. ] From a sedentary position, the hon. Member for Blaby (Mr. Robathan) says that they can do that, because they are in opposition.

In a brief speech, the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main) made three or four important points. I will certainly ask my colleague the Minister for Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing to look at the point she made about the fly-tipping project in her area. She made some important points about mental health, and the Government’s initiatives in that area should be commended, but it is right that we recognise that issue. She also praised the Muslim community, and she was right to do so.

The hon. Member for Reigate read out his speech extremely well, which is all I can say about it. I was disappointed that he did not respond to the analysis that hon. Members in various parts of the House had put forward. The Opposition should think hard about this point. They take the slogan “Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime” from Tony Blair, but they need to provide an analysis based on the facts of the situation. Just briefly, let us look at the resources. I assume that the article in The Times is coincidental to
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this debate, but again I congratulate the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on his front page this morning—well done.

Let me read out the figures for the seven forces that were criticised in the papers this morning. The article refers to Durham; I remember signing off a 30 per cent. increase for Durham police authority when I was a local government Minister; I think that the Prime Minister had some interest in that at the time. There has been a 49 per cent. increase in the number of Durham police, with 288 extra police staff. In Gloucestershire there has been a 52 per cent. increase, with 228 extra police staff. In Gwent there has been an increase of 91 per cent., with 415 extra police. In Hampshire, there has been an increase of 79 per cent., with 1,045 extra police. In North Yorkshire there has been an increase of 101 per cent., with 527 extra police staff. In Surrey, in the local county force of the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell, there has been an increase of 136 per cent., meaning 994 extra police staff. In South Yorkshire the increase was only 59 per cent., with 764 extra police staff. The Opposition call for more resources, but condemn the very Government who have brought them about.

I come to the analysis put forward by the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell in the speech that he was kind enough to read out to the House following his speech to the Local Government Association yesterday. It really is not good enough to come along and bandy about statistics when every independent authority and every independent provider of statistics has shown that crime has fallen under this Government. It is not true to say that because we have changed the methodology of reporting violent crime, violent crime has gone up. That is the politics of 1984, and I condemn the Opposition’s motion and commend the Government’s amendment.

Question put (Standing Order No. 31(2)), That the original words stand part of the Question.

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 228, Noes 308.
Division No. 39]
[7.20 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James

Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moore, Mr. Michael
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert

Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Jeremy Wright and
James Duddridge

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
David, Mr. Wayne
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise

Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, rh John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John

Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Dave Watts and
Mr. Frank Roy
Question accordingly negatived .
24 Feb 2009 : Column 217

24 Feb 2009 : Column 218

24 Feb 2009 : Column 219

24 Feb 2009 : Column 220

Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 31(2)), That the proposed words be there added.

Question agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to (Standing Order No. 31(2)).


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