Posted: Thursday 30th April 2015
Now that the Prime Minister has finalised his new government, forces across England and Wales can now get back to the job of policing with a stronger understanding of what the future might hold. Continuity is important when it comes to planning the shape of local policing in the long-term and I welcome the decision to keep the current Home Secretary, Theresa May, in post as we move forward. However, I was aware well before the election that regardless of the outcome, Nottinghamshire faces a very tough 24 months as we continue to grapple with an ever-dwindling pot of funds with which to safeguard the public.
The era of austerity will not end with the birth of a new government – that has been made very clear - and we can expect continued budget cuts in the very near future; possibly up to 18% over the next two years. Given that 80% of our budget goes to pay our staffing costs, we can no longer realistically avoid reductions if we are to continue to keep our communities safe.
In the face of such difficult circumstances, we are currently reviewing PCSO strength across the county, with a decision expected to be made by the summer. We know that PCSOs are a hugely valuable and popular asset in Calverton and cluster villages and appreciate the work they undertake to reassure our communities. Even if reductions are unavoidable and we do need to lose around 70 PCSOs we will still have more per head of population than any other Force in the East Midlands and we remain determined to deliver the best possible service to local people.
Neighbourhood policing continues to be the focus of community safety across Nottinghamshire and the Chief Constable and I continue to believe in the power of locally deployed officers to fight crime and reassure the public. Calverton will continue to benefit from a professional service irrespective of how future neighbourhood policing teams will look and we remain committed to ensuring officers respond to problems whenever they are needed. Nobody wants to be talking about reductions when there are so many new threats to society but we must face up to the future. The decisions we make now will protect the vulnerable and ensure our resources are channelled to where need is greatest.
Police and Crime Commissioner