Ministers at the Home Office were this morning challenged to tell the whole truth about Police Reserves.
Paddy Tipping, PCC for Nottinghamshire and Chair of the Police Reform and Transformation Board, speaking at this morning’s CIPFA Annual Police and Fire Conference, said:
“Ministers are constantly telling us that the Police have £1.6bn in Reserves. They neglect to tell us that Reserves levels are down by 22% since 2015 and that they are set to fall by a further 50% to £806m by March 2020.
General Reserves, the amount that can be used to support the revenue budget, have remained steady and will continue to stay somewhere around 3%, which is the generally recognised standard level.
There is no shed full of money in the bank to support Police Budgets into the future.
It’s all gone.
Since 2010 the Police Grant has been cut by £2.3bn or 25%. That’s why police numbers are at their lowest for 30 years with 20,000 officer posts going since 2010.
Police budgets are capped in flat cash terms – that’s a real-terms cut. I estimate that police budgets will reduce further still, by about £350m each year for the next two years. What that means is that a further 6,000 police officer posts look set to go.
The Chancellor’s budget is just two weeks away on November 22. That’s why Chief Police Officers and PCCs are bidding for extra resources.
Our bid is for an extra £440m next year and a further £845m the following year.
If we were successful we would be able to employ 5000 neighbourhood policing officers plus 1100 armed officers.
In this year of unprecedented threat and attacks the Chancellor should wake up and sit up.
At the end of the day people want to feel safe and secure in their homes and streets.
I hope he listens and acts.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 8th November 2017