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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Police funding: “The facts are clear - the Police service, our members, are held in contempt by the Government"

20 December 2021

Policing in England and Wales is to receive up to £1.1 billion extra to cut crime, according to the Government.

But all is not what it seems, according to Mark Loker, Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, as the Government neglects to mention here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/policing-to-receive-up-to-11-billion-extra-to-cut-crime that the “extra” money doesn’t cover the billions cut from policing during austerity.
Mark said: “The damage that the Government has done to Policing in England and Wales is nothing short of shameful - and to try to essentially spin that they are pledging a 7% increase to the overall police budget, when in real terms the Police Service has been decimated year on year by cuts.
“Over the past decade, we have had to adjust to debilitating cuts in funding from Central Government. Forces are making more use of reserve funding, money set aside for unforeseen spending and we have had to sell off your local police stations and confine ourselves to privately financed centralised locations.
“However, with a 16% drop in real-terms spending between 2009/10 and 2018/19, the police have had to look for alternative funding solutions.
“In 2018/19, £13.3 billion was spent on the police in England and Wales (excluding capital spending). This was 16% less in real terms than in 2009/10. Despite pledging otherwise this has meant a 40% drop in PCSO numbers, 20,000 police officers lost and the pledged 20,000 ‘uplift’ only just managing to hold onto the current numbers due to the amount of officers leaving the service due to ill health, permanent disability and opportunities for better pay in the private sector.
“The facts are clear - the Police service, our members, are held in contempt by the Government.
“The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy in a report published in 2019 stated ‘The Prime Minister recently pledged to increase the number of officers by 20,000 in the next three years, but recruiting and deploying them effectively will be difficult.
“Demand on the police is likely to increase in the next five years, although it is difficult to project with certainty. If government spending on the police continues on its current trajectory, it should be more than enough to meet demand – if it was to increase in line with population growth. However, if crime rates continue to rise as quickly as they have in recent years, the government may need to spend an extra £3.5 billion on top of what is currently planned.”
For a true reflection I would urge people to read the full report https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publication/performance-tracker-2019/police