Reacting to the Government’s funding proposals, Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles said: “Today’s announcement is a perfect example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“Our budget is being cut by stealth, under a thinly veiled disguise of ‘good news’, such as the £50m innovation fund, the £18m to fund expansion of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and the £9.4m for additional HMIC inspections. This money is not ‘new’ money. It has been taken from the overall policing pot and will have the net effect of cutting the amount we can invest in policing in Derbyshire.
“I’m all for transparency and fully believe that complaints should be investigated, but I believe that an investigation carried out by the IPCC will be considerably more expensive (potentially up to 10 times more) than an internal Professional Standards Department investigation. There are occasions when matters should be referred to the IPCC - but not at the cost of police officers on the streets of Derbyshire.
“Then there is the proposed escalation in the number of inspections by HMIC – again funded by the police budget. I am the first to welcome an external view on the Force, but inspections are time-consuming and resource hungry, so I would urge the Home Secretary to ensure that the volume of inspections remains in proportion. Surely in these days of ever-tightening police budgets, actual frontline policing should take precedence over more and more inspections?
“Clearly we need to work through the finer detail before we know exactly what today’s provisional funding settlement means, but at first glance it appears that Derbyshire Police’s budget will be over £1m worse off than we previously anticipated. This is equivalent to a 2% increase in a Derbyshire resident’s council tax contribution. Not only does this make our challenge even greater next year but it also increases the scale of the challenge in future years as well. We are also concerned that the continued short term nature of funding settlements. This is another one year settlement, which makes it even harder for us to plan for the long term.
This announcement has come as a shock and increases the Government-inflicted cut to Derbyshire’s Police budget from 3.3% to 4.8% and will have a further impact on policing in the county.
In addition the Government continues to refuse to allocate funding in accordance with the Police Grant Formula which determines how much each force requires for policing its area, choosing to apply a damping mechanism that favours more affluent areas of the country. This has cost Derbyshire Police over £32m over the last eight years.
“I will write expressing my disillusionment to the Home Secretary, demanding a fair deal for Derbyshire.”
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Posted on Wednesday 18th December 2013