Derbyshire Police Federation

Federation chair calls for long-term funding settlement

15 August 2022

The chair of Derbyshire Police Federation has called for the Government to provide policing with a long-term funding settlement to allow forces to make strategic plans to fight crime.

Tony Wetton says the current system encourages short-term thinking and pointed to the impact of inflationary pressures on police funding.

Tony explained: “Policing, like the rest of society, is very much impacted by the rising cost of gas and electric and as winter approaches we’re bound to see them swallowing up more of our budget, which is already under huge pressure as it is.

“Over the last 12 years police funding has been squeezed to the point where we now need huge investment in training, equipment, and our infrastructure.

“Short-term funding settlements don’t really allow for the long-term planning that’s required.

“This is why we’re calling for a multi-year deal to allow forces to make long-term decisions on what’s needed.”

He was speaking after the publication of a new report on burglary, robbery and theft from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services(HMICFRS).

The report found:

  • Forces are missing opportunities to identify and catch offenders, from the moment a member of the public reports the crime to the point where a case is finalised;
  • Police are not doing all they can to help victims when they report crimes – in 71 percent of the burglary reports examined, police personnel did not give victims any advice on crime-scene preservation during the initial call;
  • Forces lack investigative capacity and capability to effectively tackle burglary, robbery and theft, often because of the national detective shortage and inexperience; and
  • Investigations are not being appropriately or thoroughly supervised, with a third of cases examined having insufficient evidence of proper supervision.

HMICFRS has recommended that by March 2023, all police forces should ensure:

  • Their crime-scene management practices adhere to the authorised professional practice on managing investigations for burglary, robbery and theft; and
  • These investigations are subject to effective supervision and direction.

Tony said: “Our colleagues are on the frontline of policing every day, serving and protecting the public and giving their best.

“But they’re hamstrung by a lack of resources and increasing demands on them and their workloads. Those funding cuts, cuts to police numbers and not replacing experienced colleagues on retirement over the last decade have real-world consequences.”

Steve Hartshorn, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said the Federation has been warning of the impact of cuts for years.

“Policing is in crisis due to a perfect storm of factors – many PFEW have been warning about repeatedly for a number of years, including, most significantly, that cuts would have dire consequences,” he said.

“We have sadly been found to be correct. It appears that despite the same messages from various reports and organisations over the years no action has been taken to prevent matters escalating and becoming worse.”

And he added his name to calls for a long-term funding settlement for forces.

Steve said: “Our members deserve more investment, better benefits and an appropriate integrated learning environment that equips them for the realities of policing.

“I would urge the Government to commit to a long-term, sustainable funding settlement, and review its outdated funding formula which contributes to this postcode lottery service for victims, which is unacceptable.

“A long-term plan would allow chief constables, police and crime commissioners and our partner agencies in policing to plan for the future and would also help efforts to put sustainable mentoring and training strategies in place so our officers can provide the very best service they themselves want to provide to the public.”

Speaking about the report, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said: “Burglary, robbery and theft are not minor crimes. They are crimes that strike at the heart of how safe people feel in their own homes or communities. The current low charge rates for these crimes are unacceptable and unsustainable – there needs to be a concerted drive to address this issue because it directly affects the public’s confidence in the police’s ability to keep them safe.”

He added: “A lack of experienced officers means that too often, these crimes are being investigated poorly and are not adequately supervised – often because supervisors themselves are inexperienced and overstretched.

“We found that some police forces are working hard to tackle these crimes and uncovered some excellent examples of innovative and effective practice. We hope that other forces will follow these examples.

“We’ve made two recommendations for police forces to go back to basics by improving crime scene management and ensuring proper supervision so that investigations are conducted effectively.”


March 2023