Police Funding Settlement Announced
The police funding settlement was laid before Parliament last week, setting out the total funding going into policing next year and the amount each individual PCC will get to fund policing in their area.
Responding to the settlement APCC Finance Lead, Roger Hirst PFCC said:
“This funding announcement is extremely welcome for policing and is the largest increase in Government grant funding we have seen since the crisis in public finances started. We need to focus on bringing crime down, and this settlement will mean Police and Crime Commissioners can invest more into policing in order to tackle crime and keep our communities safe.
“The Minister’s position is clear: This people’s Government is determined to strengthen our police service and tackle the unacceptable levels of crime, particularly violent crime, across our country. This Government will deliver on its commitment to recruit 20,000 additional officers over the next three years to protect the public and keep our families, communities and our country safe.
“We know that the public want to see more police and this additional funding will drive the recruitment of 6,000 officers over the next twelve months, as part of the Government’s Uplift Programme to recruit 20,000 new police by March 2023. Combined with the precept flexibility announced, it means we will also be able to make further investment in critical areas including technology, fund police pay properly, and deal with the inflationary cost pressures that we all face.
“We remain committed to making further efficiencies within the service, building on the huge amount of work that has been done to date, and delivering a modern police service able to get crime back down to historic lows.”
APCC Deputy Finance Lead, Paddy Tipping PCC said:
“This announcement is good news for policing and will mean that there will be more police officers in neighbourhoods, communities and streets across the country. It also means that Police and Crime Commissioners can now prepare their budgets accordingly knowing that the additional funding for the promised uplift in police numbers is available.
“This is a first step in building police numbers again. We need to recognise that it will take three years to get back to the level of officer numbers that existed in 2010.
“Many of the cost pressures we face, including cost of inflation and pay awards, will have to be met locally through the precept. Once again, it needs to be acknowledged that with different levels of precept and share of budget accounted for by council tax, the level to which forces benefit will vary from the precept increase. Police and Crime Commissioners continue to push for progress to reform the police funding formula.”
New Digital Ambition for UK Policing
The annual Police ICT Summit was held last week where The National Digital Policing Strategy 2020-2030 was launched setting out a new digital ambition for UK policing.
Responding to the Strategy APCC Chair Katy Bourne OBE said:
“The Strategy has been developed by the service in response to the digital challenges we face, but ultimately for the benefit of the public we serve. It presents five key digital ambitions: seamless citizen experience; addressing harm; enabling officers and staff; embedding a whole public system approach; and empowering the private sector.
“If we are to achieve these goals, we must improve the way we use data and technology and, importantly, the development of the people who lead, manage and use digital capabilities.”
Police ICT Company Board Chair Stephen Mold said:
“Policing in the UK remains world leading and sets the standard for law enforcement agencies across the globe, however we are also at a critical juncture. We either improve how we harness digital opportunities from existing and emerging technologies, or risk becoming overwhelmed by the demand they create and lose the chance to enhance and modernise our policing services.
“We must develop digital capabilities to address the challenge and complexity of modern-day crime, and this Strategy is the blueprint for how we can work together to exploit new technologies.
“It’s by working together that we will be able to overcome the challenges associated with modernisation and make effective use of the technological opportunities available to us.”
Officer Uplift is a Golden Opportunity to Increase Diversity
The Police Foundation last week published their report: A Diversity Uplift. Responding to the report APCC Workforce Lead, Kim McGuinness PCC and APCC Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Lead David Munro PCC Said:
“While it’s encouraging that the percentage of female police officers has increased since 2007 it is disappointing that similar improvements haven’t been made in BAME representation. We all know that better workforce representation is important in terms of legitimacy, but also in terms of our forces having the diversity of thought that is one of the hallmarks of outstanding organisations.
“This report confirms that Programme Uplift, the recruitment of 20,000 extra police officers by 2023, is the golden opportunity for the police service to address this issue.
“PCCs know the value of a representative workforce and we will be working hard with Chief Constables, the College of Policing and other policing stakeholders, both nationally and in force, to employ the recruitment and retention strategies that target, identify and attract the diverse people and talents that our service needs.
“This golden opportunity must be grasped.”
Police in Sussex to lead the way over new Stalking Protection law
New Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) came into effect on 20 January, as an additional tool for police to use in responding to reports of stalking.
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said; "Stalking is an insidious crime that takes over and destroys lives. It is vital that those affected feel confident in reporting, knowing that early action will be taken and that the law is on their side.
“Stalking Protection Orders will now allow the police to take swift and decisive action against perpetrators, putting restrictions in place and enforcing breaches, treating them as criminal offences.
"The terms of these Orders should be a substantial deterrent and a way to enforce the law without adding unnecessary strain upon the victim.
“I’m pleased to announce that this tool will soon be piloted across Sussex, Surrey and Cheshire. Then, once reviewed and evaluated, I’m hoping that it will be adopted nationally.”
You can read more on the use of SPOs in Sussex here.
Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Pilot
A pilot scheme requiring offenders to abstain from alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring tag returned positive results according to a report by the National Centre for Social Research.
The pilot was carried out for two years from June 2017 and was implemented by a partnership including the Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioners for Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.
Offenders were required to wear an electronic tag around their ankle which accurately detects the presence of alcohol in an individual’s system and alerts probation services of any non-compliance.
Unlike other pilots, this approach used the period without alcohol to work with offenders in a bid to prevent them from reoffending. A significant feature of the pilot was the inclusion of domestic violence offenders.
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “Reoffending rates are much higher for people where alcohol plays a role in the offence. As this pilot scheme has indicated, there is a likelihood we can reduce the victims of crime in the future, particularly victims of domestic abuse. The period in which the offender is tagged will give rehabilitation agencies a real opportunity to work with the individual and get them to recognise and change their behaviour, hopefully for good. I would like to see these orders available nationally as a standard feature of the Criminal Justice System.”
You can read more about the pilot here.
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