- Research shows higher crime areas have suffered greatest cuts.
- Three North-East forces in national top ten for police funding cuts.
- New Home Secretary invited to visit Cleveland to see neighbourhood policing in action
Research by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, has revealed that forces in higher crime areas have been hardest hit by funding cuts in recent years.
Mr Coppinger has now forwarded the research to new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, with a letter calling for fairer funding and the protection of neighbourhood policing.
He has also invited Mr Javid to visit Cleveland to see first hand the innovative work being carried out by neighbourhood teams – work that was recently highlighted as best practice by police watchdogs*.
“As the figures make clear, forces tasked with policing higher crime areas have been hardest hit by funding cuts,” said Mr Coppinger.
“A new Home Secretary offers the chance for a fresh start and I hope Mr Javid will send a clear message that he supports neighbourhood policing by reversing the funding cuts of recent years and so allow Chief Constables to recruit and deploy more officers.
“Cleveland can now proudly claim to lead the way when it comes to neighbourhood policing and I hope the Home Secretary will visit to see first-hand the excellent job our officers do in the most demanding of circumstances.”
Cleveland has seen its funding from Government fall by 36% since 2010; that’s £39m in real terms and has resulted in the loss of 500 police posts. Last year Mr Coppinger launched his fairer funding campaign, raising concerns with the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Prime Minister.
In March it was necessary to increase the local precept in order to meet the latest real-term funding cut by central Government and so avoid further cuts to police numbers.
Research by the Commissioner’s office reveals that eight of the ten Police Force Areas with the highest Crimes per Head of Population also feature in the ten with the highest cash reductions in Total Funding since 2010-11. Cleveland features in both ‘top 10s’ as do Northumbria and Durham.
In terms of overall funding, Surrey has been the least impacted and has actually seen overall funding increase by 1% (in cash terms) since 2010-11.
If Cleveland had experienced a similar 1% increase the force would now have £15m extra to spend on policing Cleveland, which has a Police Recorded Crime level per head of Population that is nearly 60% higher than Surrey’s.
Mr Coppinger said: “It cannot be right that police forces facing the greatest challenge see their funding cut whilst those in low crime areas enjoy an increase in funding.
“I am aware of the concerns about the escalation in violent crime in London. It is important that the new Home Secretary is aware that this is not just an issue for the capital. The Government cuts to police numbers have impacted nationwide and in particular the areas where the challenge is greatest.
“Last year I urged politicians of all parties and none and anyone with influence to join my campaign for fairer funding for Cleveland Police. With a new Home Secretary in place, it is very important that we continue to send this united message.”
*PEEL: Police effectiveness 2017, national overview, P.36.
Posted on Thursday 10th May 2018