Commissioner Paddy Tipping has welcomed the publication of a report highlighting the need for further discussion on widespread restructuring in the way police services are provided.
The report – ‘Reshaping Policing for the Public’ - was commissioned from HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) by a national Advisory Group set up to look at the challenges posed by the ongoing austerity measures. It is hoped that its findings will jumpstart a national debate on policing delivery in order identify was in which local policing will be protected while resilience in increased to enable new and emerging areas of policing to be tackled effectively. In general, the report also supports the findings of the National Audit Office in its own report on Austerity, published earlier this month.
The Advisory Group, of which Mr Tipping is a member, is made up of experts from across the policing landscape, including six chief constables, the College of Policing, HMIC and representative bodies. While no claims are made as to the solutions to the significant challenges ahead, the urgent need for a wider debate on a national platform is clear.
Mr Tipping said: “Every force, including Nottinghamshire, has faced and made big cuts to its budget over the last four years. The promise of similar sized cuts over the next four years goes beyond a challenge. This will effectively see the amount of funding we receive from Central Government halved over the period 2010-2020 and if we are to deliver those cuts and keep people safe, things have to change.
“You can’t keep trimming budgets, expecting more for less and remodelling the way services are delivered without risk. Yes, where there was waste and duplication, it needed to be removed and that is a really positive thing. But we are now in a position where identifying more ‘efficiencies’ is becoming harder and harder, in some instances probably impossible. So, in my mind, there is no doubt, we have to change.
“And I think this is a good thing. Once you accept that everything is up for discussion, anything can change and traditional parameters don’t apply any more, you think differently and begin to see things differently. I think we can do this, but I’m under no illusions that it will be anything but hard.
“The Government is reviewing its funding formula for policing, and that may deliver some respite to some forces, but there will be winners and losers. We need to think differently, deliver services differently and above all, embrace the opportunity to restructure the way policing works.
“I am keen to see the most inclusive debate possible, with the public, police and other public services involved. But we need to act now, the clock is ticking.”
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Posted on Thursday 25th June 2015