18 May 2019
Calls by the head of the National Crime Agency (NCA) for an extra £2.7 billion to be ploughed into fighting serious and organised crime is just another sign that long-term re-investment in policing is needed, according to the chair of Derbyshire Police Federation.
Tony Wetton has backed Lynne Owens, director general of the NCA, who, in announcing the agency’s National Strategic Assessment earlier this week, explained more money needed to be allocated to fighting organised crime.
Ms Owens revealed there are at least 181,000 offenders linked to serious and organised crime in the UK.
“These figures are staggering,” says Tony, “These offenders are preying on our communities and having a massive impact on the law-abiding citizens we seek to protect.
“The Government needs to listen to what the NCA and other policing bodies are telling them. The cuts to police budgets have had a massive impact, leading to a 22,000 reduction in officer numbers and contributing, I believe, to a rise in crime and therefore more and more people becoming victims of crime.
“We now need a proper long-term strategy for investment in policing so police officers can get back to doing the job they signed up to do, tackling crime, keeping order and protecting the vulnerable.”
National Police Federation chair John Apter has argued the country can no longer go on robbing Peter to pay Paul and called for long-term, sustained investment across all police and law enforcement agencies.
“It is unacceptable that when funding is needed, policing goes to the Chancellor with a begging bowl and receives nothing more than his loose change, and we are then asked to be grateful. This is not the way to keep our public safe,” John said.
And he added: “The protection of the public is, and always will be, the top priority for the police but it must also be a top priority for the Government or else it will continue to fail communities and we will continue to see crime rise.”
Ms Owens said the NCA – which leads the UK’s fight against serious and organised crime – requires an extra £650 million in annual funding, an amount less than the weekly cost of serious and organised crime to the nation.
She explained: “Serious and organised crime in the UK is chronic and corrosive, its scale is truly staggering.”
The NCA’s National Strategic Assessment showed: