The cost of meeting the rise in crime whilst investing to stem that rise and protect the public has been revealed.
Evidence gathered by PCCs and Police Chiefs shows that £440m extra is required in 2018/19 and £845m in 2019/20, an increase of 1.5% to 2% more than inflation in each year.
The Home Office asked PCCs and Police Chiefs to assess levels of stretch and resilience in the service over the summer.
The rise in funding would provide an additional 5,000 officers nationally to deal with increased local policing demands from new sorts of crime and increasing complexity, and an armed policing uplift of a further 1,100 officers.
Dame Vera Baird said “Since 2012, we have seen police budgets reduce nationally by £2.3bn. Northumbria force has seen one of the biggest reductions out of all police forces (£123 million) in England and Wales. Locally, we have lost nearly 1,000 police officers and nationally the number of police officers on the streets have been reduced.
Every year we continue to stretch the pound to ensure we squeeze out every penny. To protect frontline policing we have had to use reserves, this position is untenable.”
PCCs and Chief Constables are at the forefront of demanding further investment from government and have bid for extra money – £440m next year, increasing to £845m in 2019/20. If successful, that would fund 5,000 new officers (in England and Wales) over the two-year period and an additional 1,100 armed officers to combat the immediate terrorist threat.
The extra funding will also tackle newer, emerging crimes such as cybercrime, fraud and child sexual exploitation.
Dame Vera added “I can assure local residents that I will continue to take the demand for a fair funding deal to the very heart of government.”
The APCC and the NPCC have responded to a Home Office request to collate evidence from across all 43 police forces and associated agencies and assess levels of strain and resilience across the country.
The request comes at a time when pressures on police time and resources are increasing. Whether it is from the increase in recorded crime, up by 13 per cent nationally this year, more complex crimes being committed and a growing terrorist threat, the police, more than ever, are being called on to respond.
Police forces have been hit hard since the 2015 Spending Review as due to the change in demand, the current “flat cash” settlement for local forces, which does not insulate them from inflation or the recent changes in the national pay settlement, is no longer considered sufficient.
Dame Vera added “Our police officers and staff do an incredible job, their commitment is second to none. When I was elected, I gave a commitment that neighbourhood policing was my priority and would be protected. I now need the government to give Northumbria a fair funding deal to ensure this commitment is honoured. The Home Secretary can hear a very loud, united voice from Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables – she needs to act if police forces across England and Wales are to have the ability to deliver the key components of policing.”
Fellow PCC, Paddy Tipping said “We believe that a lack of investment will lead to increases in crime and a reduction of police and state legitimacy.”