James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
James at The Springfields Academy
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): I, too, have been out to see the Afghan national army being trained in Afghanistan. My impression is that it has been doing extremely well under the brilliant professionalism of the British instructors. But does the Minister accept that the police are much more worrying and have hugely further to go? The issue is about not just how many there are but the quality of their training. Can we not get more help from the Metropolitan police or other British police forces to help with their training?
Nick Harvey: In recent years, it has certainly been true that there have been concerns about the police not being as good as the army. However, I think that that situation is being rapidly addressed and that there is a tangible improvement in the training being given to the Afghan national police. The Helmand police training centre is based strongly on western models. There is a lot of western assistance in there, and most recent reports say that the quality of police recruits has improved tangibly on what it was like a couple years ago.
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