COMMISSIONER: GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STOP CONNING THE PUBLIC OVER CUTS TO POLICING15 December, 2016
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has urged the Government to stop conning the public over claims it has protected police funding at 2015/16 levels. The plea comes after the Government revealed its latest finance settlement for PCCs to fund their police services which shows a grant reduction of £3.5m for the same period.
The Policing Minister, Brandon Lewis, today revealed next year’s funding allocation will fall an additional £2.5m on top of the £1m it reduced last year.
The Commissioner said: “The Government needs to start telling it like it is. In Lancashire we have had to save £76m a year and we have signficant savings to find by 2020.
“This settlement today confirms that. But the Government is saying they are “protecting” police funding. It’s just not true. Government funding is continuing to be cut and their announcement blatantly states: “No PCC who chooses to maximise precept in both years will face a reduction in cash funding next year compared to 2015/16.”
“In other words if I put up the council tax precept by the maximum amount I am allowed, we will maintain our funding.”
The Commissioner added: “We are beginning to see a rise in crime in our area along with rising demand as health and councils are scaled back to deal with their own cut, but Lancashire Police will continue to manage these new cuts effectively and provide a quality service but to suggest that they won’t have an impact on the future of policing in our area is not realistic.
“We will be looking again at our resources, are they put to their best use and where can we make more cuts, where they will have the least impact on the safety of our communities and our ability to fight crime and keep people safe.
“With all this in mind, today I am launching the consultation on the council tax precept and would urge as many people as possible to have their say. I will act on the outcome of the consultation regardless of what the Government may be asking me to do.”
The Commissioner is responsible for setting the budget for the police and for deciding the amount of council tax (known as the precept) the public in Lancashire pay towards it. As a police force Lancashire receives over 70% of it’s funding through central government and 26% via the council tax precept.
The public will be asked if they want to:
- freeze the payment at the current levels
- increase it by 2% – an average of 6p per week
- or increase it by 5% – an average of 16p per week.
Any increase would help safeguard police jobs.
You can access the survey here