As Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping prepares his next budget for policing in Nottinghamshire, he said today (Thursday 21 January 2016) that he wants “to ensure that, despite the continuing funding challenges from the Government, it delivers the best protection possible to the county.”
He went on: “True, the Government grant for policing is better than expected – but there is still a sting in the tail for local taxpayers.
“The Chancellor and Home Secretary have said that the police budget will see no further reductions in the next four years, but this is dependent on their recommendation to Police and Crime Commissioners that they increase the amount local people pay towards policing through the council tax by around 2%.”
As a result, Mr Tipping plans to ask the Police and Crime Panel to support an increase of 1.99% at their meeting on Monday, 1 February. If approved, it will mean householders in the average Band D bracket paying an extra 7p a week (an extra £3.51 a year) taking their total yearly contribution for policing to £179.91 a year; while those in the majority Band A bracket will pay just under 5p a week extra (£2.34 a year), totalling £119.94 a year.
“The alternative to this increase is a further budget cut at a time when we are still having to make efficiencies of around £12m in response to the last round of austerity measures,” he said. “On top of these reductions, which are already in full swing, are new cost pressures such as inflation, wages rises and National Insurance changes. Since 80% of the budget is spent on people these pressures will result in no recruitment this year, a year in which we anticipate 80-plus officers retiring.”
He was, he said, determined to spend every penny wisely to help the force continue to reduce crime. Year-end figures compared with 2011-12 are expected to show considerable falls across many crime categories including 25.5% fewer dwelling burglaries and 45.2% fewer theft from the person offences.
Current national rankings for December 2015 year to date ranks Nottinghamshire as third best regarding reductions in burglary of dwellings, with 20.20% fewer such offences compared to the previous year.
Mr Tipping added: “During the year to December 2015, Nottinghamshire Police was ranked in the top five forces nationally for reductions in all crime, burglary of dwellings, robbery and public order.
“This is clearly positive news and although funding continues to stretch our resources the Chief Constable and I remain committed to protecting the frontline and maintaining performance improvements.”
Their plans for doing this include drawing financial and practical benefits from closer working with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire forces through a Strategic Alliance, which the Commissioner expects to ‘go live’ on 1 April this year. “Working even more closely together will not only ensure greater operational resilience but will also deliver financial benefits,” Mr Tipping pointed out.
Other efficiency moves include changes to the force’s rank structure from top down, leading to fewer officers within the higher salaried brackets.
“Our budget remains under pressure but it is important that residents in both rural and urban areas feel safe and secure. They want strong, safe and proud communities where they can bring up their children and families – and this overarching priority is at the top of my mind when planning where and how our funding should be spent.”
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Notes to Editors
- The Commissioner will present his budget for the coming year to the Police and Crime Panel on Monday, 1 February. Provisional figures (awaiting final grant confirmation from the Government due early February) indicate that the total budget will be £190.2m, based on a 1.99% precept increase.
- The force still has to implement the reductions from the last round of the Government’s austerity measures. These require efficiencies of £12m to balance the budget in the next financial year.
- New cost pressures for the force (inflation, wage rises, National Insurance changes) will amount to £11m in 2016-17.
- Surveys in 2014-15 revealed that most people felt the Police and Council were dealing with local anti-social behaviour and other crime issues, and that perception of ASB was at an all-time low.
- Mr Tipping’s offices costs remain lower than former Police Authority’s in 2011/12, and are 24% less than national average
- During Commissioner Tipping’s term in Office:
- Crime has fallen and is more ethically recorded
- Satisfaction is up
- Fewer people are killed or seriously injured on the roads
- Efficiency savings of more than £42m have been made
- Alcohol-Related Violence has reduced (now less than half the national figures)
- BME disproportionality in Stop and Searches has reduced by 22%
Posted on Thursday 21st January 2016