Cleveland Police and Crime Panel last night (Tuesday 5th February) approved an increase to the precept which will help to draw policing resources back into local communities.
The latest settlement saw Government funding to Cleveland Police cut by a further £2.1m in real terms, bringing the total cuts to £40m since 2010. This has resulted in the loss of 500 police officers and 50 PCSOs.
Cleveland’s settlement was the lowest funding increase in the country at just 5.77%, despite the area having the fourth highest levels of crime per 1,000 population.
PCCs were given the flexibility to increase the precept – the amount local residents pay for policing in their council tax – by £24 for Band D properties, which equates to 46p per week.
Following consultation with residents, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger opted for this increase to protect current resource levels and generate an additional £1.8m to invest in Cleveland Police.
The Force will invest the precept increase as follows:
- Increase resources in the Force Control Room to provide a more timely response to calls for service
- Increase investment in crime investigation and safeguarding vulnerable victims, particularly in relation to domestic abuse
- Deliver their core priority to respond and protect
- Maintaining a commitment to neighbourhood problem solving with protected resources for the most challenging communities and a named PCSO contact for every council ward
- Maintain an investment in wellbeing to increase officer and staff availability
Over two thirds (68%) of Cleveland residents who took part in the PCC’s consultation on the precept confirmed that they would be willing to pay the £24 increase for a Band D property.
In reality, the majority of Cleveland residents will pay less than this as 80% of the area’s properties fall under Bands A-C.
Mr Coppinger said: “I’m pleased that the Police and Crime Panel have recognised the difficult financial situation policing finds itself in following eight years of crippling government cuts.
“All the while, demand on the Force has skyrocketed and officers are expected to deal with a more varied and complex series of crimes than ever before.
“94% of people who took part in my survey said they would like to see more Central Government funding for Cleveland Police. The public get it – it’s time the Home Secretary got the picture too.
“It is unacceptable and deeply unfair that once again the cost of policing is being passed from central Government to local residents. They can rest assured that the additional funding will be used to protect the most vulnerable in our society and that I will continue my campaign for fairer funding for Cleveland Police.”
The Panel also approved the Commissioner’s refreshed Police and Crime Plan, which sets out his key objectives to make communities in Cleveland safer over the next five years.
The PCC’s objectives are:
- Investing in Our Police
- A Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses
- Tackling Offending and Re-Offending
- Working Together to Make Cleveland Safer
- Securing the Future of Our Communities
Under these objectives, Mr Coppinger has made a number of innovative and forward-thinking commitments, such as exploring the use of drones in policing and developing new methods to reduce the offending behaviour of long-term drug users.
The Panel received updates on the Commissioner’s Scrutiny Programme and were given updates about the ground-breaking Divert Adult Diversion scheme and the Restorative Cleveland service.
It was the first time the Panel met Interim Chief Constable Lee Freeman and members received details about imminent plans for recruitment of a permanent replacement.
Final Police Settlement Information (Adobe PDF, 312KB)
Cleveland Police Presentation to the Police and Crime Panel (Adobe PDF, 639KB)
Posted on Wednesday 6th February 2019