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Commissioner’s Response to NAO report on Financial Sustainability of Police Forces

4th June 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “As this report from the National Audit Office shows, Northumbria Police has been the force hit hardest by Government cuts.

“We have lost 23% of our funding since 2010, compared to Surrey, a fine police force, but it has lost only 12%. This is because 85% of our funding comes from government since we have the lowest council tax charge in England and Wales. In Surrey, only 46% comes from government with the rest from higher council taxes in their relatively affluent area.

“The Home Secretary has made clear that there are more cuts to come but she must urgently change how they are allocated. The report recommends that she ‘adopt an approach to funding that takes account of forces’ local circumstances more fairly’.

“Theresa May talks of crime falling despite police cuts but this report shows that in 2014 there was a 2% increase in recorded crime nationwide, in 28 of 43 police areas, including Northumbria.

“We have built the confidence in people to report crimes such a child sexual exploitation and are pleased that the numbers reporting to us have increased but funding does not currently acknowledge either how complex to investigate this kind of crime is nor the safeguarding duties it imposes on our officers.

“Crime is only part of the story. I have been saying for some time that only 12% of calls to Northumbria Police are about offending yet the other 88% of protection, prevention and supporting work our officers do is ignored for funding purposes.

“Northumbria Police will continue to make savings where it can, understand the needs and demands of its local communities and ensure appropriate resources. I am lobbying the Home Office strongly, pointing to the force’s excellent record in the prevention and detection of crime and emphasising that we will work to maintain high standards and request their help in fair funding.”