The Home Office has announced the largest increase in police funding since 2010. The provisional police funding settlement of up to £14 billion for 2019 to 2020 is up to £970 million more than the previous year. It will enable the police to meet financial pressures and respond effectively to the changing and increasingly complex crimes they face.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will receive £7.8 billion in general Government grants, which is £161 million more than the previous year, as well as more money to spend locally (the Council Tax referendum threshold will be £24 for a Band D property – if PCCs ask households to contribute an extra £2 per month, this would generate around £510 million in additional funding).
The settlement demonstrates the Home Office’s commitment to fighting serious and organised crime, including economic crime and drug trafficking, with a £90 million investment in national, regional and local capabilities.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Since becoming Home Secretary, I’ve been clear that I would prioritise police funding. I have delivered on that promise. This is a significant funding settlement that provides the most substantial police funding increase since 2010, with more money for local police forces, counter-terrorism and tackling serious and organised crime. It will enable the police to recruit more officers and be better placed to respond to the increasingly complex crimes of today.”
As announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget, funding for counter-terrorism policing will increase by £59 million in 2019 to 2020 to reach a total of £816 million, which is £160 million more than planned at the last Spending Review. This maintains the commitment to provide the resources needed to keep the public safe.
There’s also £153 million specifically set aside to help policing meet increased pensions costs next year. These are estimated at around £330 million.
Significant financial pressures
Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, stated: “We recognise the police face significant financial pressures in the coming year. This settlement offers a substantial increase in funding for the whole police system to ensure forces recruit, meet local priorities and continue to improve efficiency to free up resources for the front line.”
Additionally, the settlement will again see £175 million going into the Police Transformation Fund, which includes investment for innovative new crime prevention techniques and a new national welfare service for front line officers, as well as £495 million for national police technology capabilities.
The £161 million of general Government grants for PCCs includes an extra £14 million specifically for the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police to reflect unique pressures faced in the capital.
The police have been making good progress on key areas of reform, but the Home Office is clear that extra funding alone is not sufficient to meet the demands they face. According to the Government, the police service must continue to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity. The Government is challenging every police force to contribute to commercial savings so that more resources can be freed up for front line crime fighting.
The Home Office observed: “This Government will always back the police and the wider criminal justice system. This support and investment will be followed by a coherent long-term plan at the Spending Review for how we will improve outcomes for the public and make our communities safer.”