Police and Crime Commissioners have revealed the cost of meeting the rise in crime whilst investing to stem that rise and protect the public.
Evidence gathered by both PCCs and Police Chiefs shows that £440m extra is required in 2018/19 and £845m in 2019/20, an increase of 1.5% to 2% more than inflation in each year.
The Home Office asked PCCs and Police Chiefs to assess levels of stretch and resilience in the service over the summer.
The rise in funding would provide an additional 5,000 officers to deal with increased local policing demands from new sorts of crime and increasing complexity, and an armed policing uplift of a further 1,100 officers.
The APCC and the NPCC have responded to a Home Office request to collate evidence from across all 43 police forces and associated agencies and assess levels of strain and resilience across the country.
The request comes at a time when pressures on police time and resources are increasing. Whether it is from the increase in recorded crime, up by 13 per cent this year, more complex crimes being committed and a growing terrorist threat, the police, more than ever, are being called on to respond.
The current funding arrangements, in place since the 2015 Spending Review, mean that overall police spending has been protected, in real terms, between 2015/16 to 2019/20. However, due to the change in demand, the current “flat cash” settlement for local forces, which does not insulate them from inflation or the recent changes in the national pay settlement, is no longer considered sufficient.
APCC Finance Lead, Roger Hirst PFCC said:
“We welcome the opportunity that the Home Office has given us to make the case for a new settlement for policing. PCCs are now firmly of the view that the current settlement for policing, especially the flat cash arrangement, no longer ensures the resilience of police forces to respond to further increases in demand against the backdrop of the unprecedented shift in the national security environment.
“PCCs have, and will continue to, drive efficiencies within the service and Home Office targets in this area are on course to be met. However, further additional savings will be much harder to accomplish. Our Police colleagues are and will continue to be committed to protect the public. Whilst the service continues to commit to further modernisation and efficiency, there are investments that need to be made now in order to ensure the service is able to meet the challenges we will all face. We want to put the service on the front foot, enabling the Police to undertake early intervention and preventative activity and to increase service levels, and for this further funding is essential.”
APCC Finance Deputy Lead, Paddy Tipping PCC said:
“The police workforce has reduced by nearly 19 per cent over the last seven years and at a time when the population is growing and the sheer complexity of policing is increasing, it is clear that more funding is required if we are going to deliver the right level of service for the public.
“This year the police have had to respond to horrific terrorist acts and unprecedented levels of demand at our control rooms and, increasingly, we know that officers and staff, whose work we all value so greatly, have become stretched like never before.
“If we take the example of local policing, the bedrock of policing in this country as reactive demand is growing, and more complex crimes are increasing, the ability to deliver this key component of policing is becoming ever more difficult. We believe that a lack of investment will lead to increases in crime and a reduction of police and state legitimacy.
“All PCCs are committed to doing everything they can do to keep people safe in their communities and we will continue to work with Police Chiefs and engage with the Home Office to ensure we get the appropriate resources to do so.”