George Freeman MP welcomes police joint working success
9th July 2012
George Freeman praises Norfolk police for joint working with Suffolk which has freed up resources to tackle rural crime.
George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): What steps she is taking to help the police prevent crime in rural areas. 
The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice (Nick Herbert): The Government fully recognise the vulnerabilities of rural communities to particular crimes. The central grant to police forces continues to take into account the needs of rural areas. The election of police and crime commissioners will give rural communities a voice in determining local policing priorities.
George Freeman: I thank the Minister for that answer. His is a strong voice in reassuring people that the Government take crime in rural areas seriously. Will he join me in welcoming the excellent work that Norfolk police authority has done to clamp down on crime in rural areas? Does he agree that the central tension that such rural authorities face is between centralising work to prevent hardened crime from taking hold in rural counties and decentralising to maintain a strong footprint? Does he agree that joint working, as between Norfolk and Suffolk, is important in targeting resources?
Nick Herbert: I agree with my hon. Friend about the value of joint working and collaboration between forces, as is happening between Norfolk and Suffolk. That is a good example of how savings can be made. It is one reason why Norfolk has been able to increase the proportion of its officers who are on the front line, according to last week’s report by Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary.