19 March 2019
Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced £100 million has been allocated to help forces tackle the surge in knife crime.
Dave Stokes, Leicestershire Police Federation chair, has welcomed the extra funding but says that the Government still needs to address the need for a longer term re-investment in policing.
“It appears the Home Secretary has been fighting our corner and that Mr Hammond has finally taken on board what everyone in policing has been saying for so long. Years of budget cuts have had a huge impact on the police service, demand has increased as officer numbers have plummeted,” Dave explains.
“This funding boost will definitely help but the Government also needs to look at putting money back into policing so that we can effectively serve and protect our communities.”
The extra £100m has been allocated over the course of next year in a bid to fight knife crime through a set of measures including setting up violent crime reduction units. It will be ring-fenced to pay for over-time costs.
Police funding will increase to £970m from April, Mr Hammond announced, while also confirming Home Secretary Sajid Javid will now work with police chiefs to find a lasting solution to the problem.
The Federation’s national chair, John Apter, met Mr Javid last week and said: “I made it clear that police officers who are at the forefront of tackling this epidemic are already run ragged; and it is a sad state of affairs when the Home Secretary has to take a begging bowl to the Treasury in a bid to solve the crisis we find ourselves in and we don’t yet know how the money will be broken down among the 43 forces.
“Whilst the funding is welcome it is, however, just a short-term fix as knife crime and violent crime continues to plague our towns and cities. We still urgently need additional resources to solve this issue in the long run.
“The Government must make a significant investment in the spending review to give police the long-term boost they need. We know this cannot be solved overnight, or by the police alone, but we certainly need to be at the heart of any solution."
Further announcements on police spending are expected to be made at the spending review this summer ‘assuming a Brexit deal is agreed over the next few weeks’.