Further budget cuts will “radically change policing” states Association of Police and Crime Commissioners

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has outlined what would need to happen to British policing if further budget cuts are imposed by the Government

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has outlined what would need to happen to British policing if further budget cuts are imposed by the Government

The police service will have to make fundamental changes in terms of how it’s structured and the role it carries out. That’s the considered view of Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales following their detailed analysis of possible budget reductions for the next five years.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners recognises that budget reductions are necessary to play their part in reducing public spending and have made significant savings and improvements in productivity while still keeping communities safe from crime.

However, with reductions in staff levels and support services already made, further budget constraints imposed by the Government would “lead to difficult questions” on how best to structure police forces to respond to changes in crime, and what this would mean for the local service provided to the public.

With financial pressures on other local services such as health, ambulances and councils, people automatically look towards the police service to help them.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, commented: “Working with chief constables, Police and Crime Commissioners have made significant savings since 2012 and we know that more will be needed. Crime has changed and become more complicated and more global, with further resources needed for areas like cyber crime and counter-terrorism. The police service cannot respond to these challenges alone. Other sectors and industries will have to work with us to share the responsibility in responding to changes in crime.”

Tipping added: “With more savings required, there will need to be a fundamental rethink on how we are organised, around the service we offer the public and the roles and skills demanded.”

Key findings from the analysis

*Varying between forces, since 2010 staff posts have reduced by 15,500 (19.5%)

*By 2020, police staffing levels could reduce to approximately 100,000 – the lowest level since the mid-1970s and a further reduction of 17% since CSR10

*The funding shortfall could be approximately £400 million in the first year and increasing up to as much as £1.2 billion by 2020

*With fewer people upon whom to call, the successful ‘civilianisation’ of some posts may be scaled back or reversed. Some forces have already identified that officers would have to perform back office functions

*While further savings in running costs, procurement and ICT can be delivered over the next five years, a fundamental reconfiguration of roles will be needed

Proposed budget reductions will affect forces in different ways. According to the Association, Police and Crime Commissioners would like to work with Government on suggested approaches that would help to minimise the impact of budget reductions. These include:

*Greater freedom to set local Council Tax plans

*More flexible approaches to income generation

*Ensuring that the police service receives funding to cover the impact of commercial and residential development

*Stronger powers for Police and Crime Commissioners to promote cross-sector working

*Protection of current grants for community safety and victim support

*A national scheme designed to provide support for the voluntary sector and local volunteers

*Download a full copy of the analysis

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

Related Posts