PCC hits out at claims on police funds

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has again hit out at claims by Ministers that police funding has been protected.

Following comments by the Government in the past week, Dame Vera Baird said: “Let me be absolutely clear, as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, I can categorically state that police funding has not been protected.

“Since 2010 to today, Northumbria Police has needed to make savings and cuts of £136million to manage reductions in funding, this is a real-terms reduction in excess of 23 per cent.

“For 2017/18, national direct funding for all forces was cut by 1.4 per cent, £3million in Northumbria’s case, with local taxpayers expected to cover the shortfall via an increase in precept on council tax.

“I have raised this issue time and time again with the Home Office, but it continues to fall on deaf ears. This Government has cut the funding for police forces across England and Wales.

“Local policing is a priority here in Northumbria, it’s our eyes and ears of local communities, despite all the challenges put in our way by central government, top slicing of funds from our budget for government projects, we have managed to protect local policing – for how long I can continue to do this I do not know.”

She has called upon the Home Secretary and Prime Minister to sort the funding problem.

Dame Vera added: “It is imperative that counter terrorism policing is properly funded and that funding is not diverted from mainstream policing as a result.

“The Home Office states that counter-terrorism funding would increase by 30 per cent by 2022, that date needs to be brought forward to now.”