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Commissioner accuses Government of 'not being straight' with public over police funding

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on the Government to ‘cut the jargon’ and provide greater clarity when it comes to talking about police funding.

Paddy Tipping accuses the Government of not being straight with the public about the amount of money being provided to police forces.

He is one of several Labour PCCs who have written a joint letter to the UK Statistics Authority demanding it takes action to ensure the government provides greater accuracy in the way in which it reports on police funding levels.

The letter takes a stand against the inconsistency of language used by ministers with regards to protection for police funding, with claims being made in the 2016/17 Police Grant Report that “police spending would be protected in real terms”, being contradicted in this year’s report, where Home Office ministers claimed that raising the precept would simple achieve “flat-cash protection”.

The Commissioners also argue that the Government shouldn’t be allowed to include local precept income - the Council Tax portion which pays for policing - when arguing that police funding has been protected, as ministers exercise no control over precept levels.

And they take issue with the current Home Secretary having included money set aside for the Police Transformation Fund into the overall settlement for Police Funding, given that forces must bid for money from the fund, with no guarantee of success.

Mr Tipping said: “The Government needs to cut the jargon and start talking in simple, easy to understand language for the public when it comes to police funding.

“They are not being straight with people about police budgets and need to stop the confusing, inconsistent announcements. When it comes to funding, a much greater precision of language is needed from the Government, so that our forces can invest and plan their use of resources sufficiently.”

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Posted on Friday 7th July 2017
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