HC Deb 12 March 2001 vol 364 c491W
29. Mr. Swayne

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the state of police morale. [151731]

Mr. Charles Clarke

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on 11 December 2000, Official Report, column 65W.

By 2003–04, funding for policing will have risen by almost £1.6 billion against the provision for this year, which is a rise of nearly 21 per cent. in cash terms and 11.8 per cent. in real terms. The crime fighting fund will enable police forces to recruit 9,000 police officers over and above the number previously planned in the three years 2000–01 to 2002–03, with the aim of bringing numbers overall to record levels.

By 30 September 2000, police strength was up 444 compared with strength at 31 March 2000. The number of police recruits starting their initial residential training in the period April 2000 to February 2001 (6,096) was up 72 per cent. on the same period in the previous financial year.