2 May 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has urged Home Secretary Suella Braverman to back up her calls for common sense policing with a new long-term funding model.
Ms Braverman’s comments came in a speech in which she insisted policing should be about “fighting crime, catching criminals, and keeping the public safe”.
She said the public wanted to see police officers “pursuing good old-fashioned criminal justice rather than social justice” and took a swipe at forces which had “completely abandoned impartiality in favour of taking partisan positions – sometimes even engaging in political argument on Twitter”.
“Now I believe in the police. But the policing in which I believe isn’t riven with political correctness, but enshrined in good old fashioned common sense,” said Ms Braverman.
Responding to her comments, Tony said: “The Home Secretary has once again referred to common sense policing but I have yet to hear her talking about common sense funding.
“We are calling for a complete overhaul of the way the police service is funded and strongly believe that long-term settlements should replace the existing annual arrangement which effectively leaves our forces operating on a hand-to-mouth basis. To put that into context, the Force does not know for sure what the financial position will be over the next few years and is having to identify potential savings in case they are required. That cannot be right.
“A well thought-out, sustainable, long-term funding mechanism would allow forces to plan ahead and budget properly which would lead to a better, more efficient service and a return to the common sense policing the Home Secretary seems so keen on.
“We totally agree with her sentiment and have been saying the same thing for years but first we need to reverse a decade of funding cuts and start providing policing with the investment it so desperately needs.
“Officer numbers have been restored to their 2010 levels but that is only part of the story – many of those officers are exhausted, burnt out and their morale is at an all-time low. The Government has to put its money where its mouth is if it wants us to deliver the service it demands.”
In her speech to the Public Safety Foundation, Ms Braverman said she believed policing had reached a turning point.
She said: “We must all work towards rebuilding public trust and refocusing on the public’s priorities.”