The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has responded to the provisional 2015/16 police grant settlement announced today by the Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the APCC’s Resources, Efficiency and Strategic Finance Standing Group said:
“This is another tough settlement, the consequences of which will clearly see forces reducing their spending in different ways. However, as officers and staff are the biggest expenditure in the budget, maintaining a strong front line presence will inevitably become much more challenging.
“The pressure on the number of officers and staff locally will be exacerbated by the significant increase in top-slicing to fund national organisations and initiatives.
“To assist with planning on this basis, we would welcome an early indication of the likely level of council tax cap. To be in a similar position as we were in last year – Police and Crime Commissioners setting budgets without first receiving this clarity – would be unhelpful.”
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire and Vice Chair of the same Standing Group, said:
“All Police and Crime Commissioners recognise the fact that policing will not be protected from the financial squeeze that most other public sectors are experiencing.
“However, we all need to be able to plan the management of our finances and we are pressing for early clarity on the proposed level of cap on council tax –especially as most PCCs will be going to their Police and Crime Panels with proposed budgets in January 2015.
“For some forces – but not all – the loss of money could have an impact on viability in the short term. They will need clarity on the amount of funds they are able to raise locally to assist with their planning.”