Matthew has welcomed the support given by the Home Secretary to neighbourhood policing to ensure that all communities receive a high quality service that meets local priorities.
Due to the financial mess the Government has inherited, cutting the deficit is a priority and the police, along with everyone else, have to bear a fair share of the burden. The Government’s Spending Review has concluded that police resource funding can be reduced by 14% in real terms by 2014-15. In addition, under the previous Government, the average policeman spent more time on paperwork than on patrol. To reduce the problem of bureaucracy, the Government has already scrapped Labour’s policing targets and has instead made it clear to the police that their job is simply to cut crime. By cutting costs and bureaucracy, the Government is saving hundreds of millions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of man hours – so the Spending Review settlement should not lead to any reduction in police officers visible and available on the streets. Ministers are confident that by making sure police resources are used as efficiently as possible the Government can keep the people of this country safe.
Matthew has written to Barnet’s Police Commander urging him to examine changing back office processes and systems, search for economies of scale and look to secure better deals in buildings, IT, fleet and supplies and services. Most of all, he has urged the Borough Commander to hold his nerve against “ill-informed and scaremongering critics who email local residents claiming that there will not be a police presence on the streets”.
In turn, Matthew has welcomed the Metropolitan Police’s ‘TP Development Programme’. The aim of this is to transform the way the MPS deliver policing services to ensure that they protect the front line whilst delivering the most efficient service possible to give the tax payer value for money.
Matthew commented: “Past Labour MPs were already planning 20% cuts before the last General Election but they just hadn't told us where they would come from. So these cuts are Labour cuts. If Labour don't like what we're doing, they need to come up with an alternative plan beyond putting up the Council Tax or ‘taxing the bankers’. Both these options are a cop out by those who haven’t got a clue about the lives of real people in this constituency”.
Matthew asked the Home Secretary and her team about policing in the Hendon Constituency on Monday 1st November 2010 on the floor of the House of Commons during Home Affairs Parliamentary Questions. (See 'In Parliament')