An independent panel has supported multi-million pound investment to allow police officer numbers in Cleveland to reach their highest levels since 2013 .
Cleveland Police and Crime Panel have today (Tuesday 1 February 2022) confirmed their support for PCC Steve Turner’s proposal to increase the policing precept by 3.76% over the next financial year.
The increase – which works out at £10 a year for those in a Band D property – will support Cleveland Police on their journey of improvement, including the recruitment of additional officers.
The precept currently makes up around 26% of the overall income received by the PCC, with the rest provided by central government grants. Taking both elements into account, Cleveland is set to receive an additional £6.8m funding for 2022/23.
Whilst a significant portion of the funding will allow Cleveland Police to exceed recruitment targets, the extra funds will also cover unavoidable increases to police pay, national insurance contributions and other non-pay related inflation costs.
Police officer numbers in Cleveland are expected to reach over 1460 by March 2023, an increase of over 250 – or 20% – since April 2019.
Lobbying for extra cash
PCC Steve Turner said: “As we prepare to welcome a new Chief Constable to Cleveland, it’s important they have the financial backing they need to drive the force forward and make the area safer.
“With Cleveland Police set to receive almost half a billion pounds over the next three years and equipped with 250 additional police officers, the force is in a prime position to continue their journey of improvement.
“What’s exciting is that this year’s £6.8m investment doesn’t account for the extra grants my team seek to secure from national funding streams. Considering they brought in an additional £3.5m last year alone, the annual investment for Cleveland could be significantly higher.”
The PCC is also continuing to lobby for additional Government funding for Cleveland’s own Violence Reduction Unit, to help tackle the area’s high levels of violent crime. Latest figures show Cleveland has the highest rate of violent crime per 1,000 population in the country.
The Commissioner’s office conducted a 12-week consultation on the police budget for 2022/23, in which 1243 people had their say on their financial contribution.
71.3 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for policing in Cleveland, with 76% stating that they would be willing to pay an additional £2.50 per month. This would equate to an increase of £30 a year for a Band D property – in comparison to the PCC’s actual 2022/23 increase of £10.