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£450 million increase in police funding in 2018
CTB News: 19/12/2017 - 16:12
The Home Secretary has announced a £450 million increase in police funding across England and Wales in 2018.
The funding comes as part of a comprehensive settlement for forces and counter terrorism policing.
The settlement follows a period of engagement, with Minister for Policing and Fire Nick Hurd speaking to every force in the country about the demands they face.
To help meet the needs of each area, government is protecting its grant to forces in cash terms and empowering locally elected police and crime commissioners to raise precept contributions by up to £1 a month for a typical household. Together, this will mean force budgets will increase by up to £270 million nationally.
Counter terrorism police funding will also increase by around £50 million to £757 million, a rise of seven per cent.
This is in recognition of the changing threat from terrorism and to ensure counter terrorism policing has the resources needed to respond and keep the public safe.
At a national level, £130 million extra will be provided for priorities such as special grants to help forces meet unexpected costs.
Police forces will also be able to access the £175 million police transformation fund. The fund gives individual forces money to invest in reform and digitisation projects to benefit the whole policing system.
The Home Office, working with the police, has also identified around £100 million of potential savings to be made through smarter procurement of everything from cars to uniforms.
If all forces delivered the level of productivity from mobile working as the best forces, the average officer could spend an hour a day extra on the frontline - this has the potential to free up the equivalent of 11,000 extra officers across England and Wales.
In addition, plans are also in place to increase transparency around police reserves, which range from seven per cent to 42 per cent of forces’ annual funding.
In March 2017 police forces held usable reserves of over £1.6 billion, which compares to £1.4 billion in 2011. The Home Offie intends to publish data on all PCCs’ reserves and introduce guidance to require PCCs to publish clearer information in a bid to make force funding more comparable for the public.
To help forces plan their finances more effectively for the future and in response to the view of PCCs and chief constables, the Home Office has signalled its intention to repeat the same settlement for 2019 to 2020 provided there is substantial progress from policing in delivering productivity and efficiency improvements.
Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, said: “Whether it is your local forces, the national picture or counter terrorism capabilities, this is a strong settlement that ensures forces have the resources they need to keep us safe.
“Taxpayers will invest more money in forces because the work our officers do to protect us is absolutely vital, and we recognise demand is changing.
“However, my message to police forces is that this increased investment must mean we raise the pace of reform.
“For too long embracing digital and increasing productivity have been tomorrow’s policing problems – now they are today’s necessities. The government is committed to meeting this challenge and we want policing to do the same.”
Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said: “Public safety is our number one priority and we have responded swiftly to evidence of a shift in demand on forces.
“This new comprehensive settlement will mean local forces can be more effective in their critical work to fight crime and protect the public.
“I have seen for myself the exceptional, can-do attitude of police officers and staff around the country. The government remains very committed to helping police improve efficiency by investing in the technology and skills that modern policing will need to be fit for the future.”