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Commissioner warns of further pressure on police activities

18th December 2014

Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Vera Baird is warning of further pressure on police activities after the Police Grant Settlement was announced today, amounting to a 5.1% cut to local policing budgets, a total of £12 million.

The one-year settlement for 2015/16 is the last to be issued by the current government.

Whilst the overall cut to the police budget is 3.5%, the Home Office has taken more money from local policing and put it into various centrally controlled funds, a process known as top slicing.

Vera Baird said: “The additional cuts to local policing have gone further than we were anticipating and will take a further £4 million from our funding. We will therefore have to take a further hard look at all our activities in the Northumbria area to ensure we can balance the books going forward.

“These new cuts come on top of £117 million of cuts, savings and efficiencies that we were planning to complete by 2016/17.”

Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “I have given my commitment to protecting frontline policing services, as far as possible and we have made efforts to safeguard the services the public say they value the most – visible policing in their communities.

“We have always managed to meet the challenges we face. However, it is getting more and more difficult and I have also said publicly that, if there are more reductions beyond 2017, there is a real risk that we will have to change the way we police in Northumbria.

“We will continue to scrutinise all aspects of our service to make as many savings as possible. This includes restructuring our BCUs, reducing police staff numbers, and also reducing the numbers of police officers in senior management and supervisory roles.

“We are doing things differently, using technology more effectively, working from different buildings that are cheaper to run.

“The public have my assurance that we will do everything we can to sustain our excellent record in the prevention and detection of crime and maintain high standards of service to victims.”