Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger says further pressure will be put on Forces after the Police Grant Settlement was announced today which equates to a 5.1% cut to police funding.
He said: “In terms of the impact on Cleveland, the 5.1% cash reduction in the overall grant from the Government will have the impact of reducing the Government Grant available in 2015/16, in comparison to the amount we are receiving in the current year, by £4.586m.
“This means that the Government Grant has reduced by nearly £24m, in cash terms, since 2010/11 and in real terms (once the effects of inflation have been taken into account) we are around £35m worse off that we were in 2010/11.
“While these further cuts largely come as no surprise, they place further pressure on our police service which is already under resourced and overstretched.
“With partner agencies facing similar cuts, the fall-back position is that the police service often picks up the demand. Whether it’s the additional pressures due to the shortage of ambulances or the cuts to other public services – the police are seen as the service of last resort.
“This is against a backdrop of a new wave of cyber-crime, the increased threats from organised crime and terrorism, new and changing legislation, increased demands for communication and the raft of HMIC inspections.
“Officers in Cleveland are professional and determined, but can only work with the resources made available to them and much of this vital work is not solely tackled out on the frontline, but by specialist roles often behind the scenes.
“We have been applauded for our financial plan and our efforts to collaborate with other agencies, which will continue next year, but how far can we realistically go?
“We’re putting victims at the heart of everything we do in Cleveland, but the government’s spending priorities are making that very tough to sustain. It’s time for the public and our local MPs to speak out about how far they are willing to let ministers go in juggling with public safety."
As released by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the key points within the provisional settlement include:
- Police Grant has been cut by 6% (in cash terms)
- Police formula funding has been cut by 3.6%
- The two combined equate to a 5.1% cut to police funding.
- The Home Secretary has passed on “some” of the 1.1% cut but not all of it.
- The number and value of top slices has risen from £165m in 2014-15 to £251m in 2015-16. This equates to a 52% increase in top slices.
- Some of the top slices, such as Innovation Fund, PFI, Special Grant and possibly a new one called Police Knowledge Fund (details on this one to follow) will probably be returned to forces. Some of them will be competitive funding pots.
- If we exclude these top slices then the value of those going to other bodies has increased by 108% from 2014-15 to 2015-16. This includes an increase of 67% in the top slice going to the IPCC.
- The Home Office say they have stopped the NPOCC top slice (which was £2.3m in 2014-15) as well as the National ICT top slice (worth £69m), whilst the Police Treasurers will be pleased that these are no longer being top-sliced, the Police forces will still be billed for both these schemes so the money will still leave forces.
The National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has highlighted the pressure on Forces in terms of maintaining frontline services and has called for early clarity from the Government about any limit they will place on council tax police precepts.
Posted on Thursday 18th December 2014