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Correspondence sent to Local MP’s and Council Leaders in Relation to Proposed Cuts to Northumbria Police’s Budget

27th July 2015

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has written to MPs and Council Leaders across Northumbria to emphasise the daily demands on policing.

The correspondence comes as the Government continues to make heavy cuts to policing.

Northumbria Police has already suffered the largest central Government grant reduction of all forces in England and Wales resulting in a reduction of 16% officer and 25% staff numbers since 2010 to address the cuts.

While the Government has implied forces can cope with ongoing funding reductions as crime continues to fall, Commissioner Baird is keen to point out this is not the case.

Her letter details the ongoing daily demands placed on Northumbria Police including:

– Officers making 142 arrests

– Officers dealing with 212 anti-social behaviour incidents and 81 domestic abuse incidents

– The force receiving approximately 523 emergency calls and 916 non-emergency calls

– The force responding to approximately 21 missing person reports – 20 of which are classified as medium risk – each taking on average 18-hours of police time

Commissioner Baird has also produced a diagram for MPs and council leaders to illustrate a typical day within the force.

Commissioner Baird said: “I have put together this graphic representation to show MPs and council leaders the incoming and ongoing demands placed on Northumbria Police on a daily basis.

“This makes it very clear it’s simply not correct for the Government to imply that as long as crime declines there is less demand on police and forces can continue to suffer serious cuts.

“It’s wrong to say crime is reducing. While the most recent Crime Survey for England shows this, the survey omits sexual offences, people trafficking, honour crimes, FGM, cybercrime, fraud and shoplifting – offences the force is seeing an increased level of reports on.

“Tackling these types of crimes is more prevalent now than ever and because of this, forces need to be directed to public protection and are having to police differently. Officers are now involved in managing high risk offenders, safeguarding children and protecting vulnerable victims when looking into these crimes which are intensive and take up a lot more police time.

“In addition, police officers manage daily around 715 high risk domestic abuse victims and work with partners through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements dealing with around 1,853 sexual and violent offenders.

“Hard to report crimes such as domestic violence and rape are seeing an upturn as the force works with support organisations and partners to give the any help needed.

“It’s also worth noting that only 12% of calls to Northumbria Police are about crime. The rest are in relation to missing persons, anti-social behaviour and traffic congestion amongst many other subjects. None of these public concerns are reducing in number and take up many officer hours.

“Government cuts to local authorities also mean a loss of community safety staff putting a greater burden on officers for issues they might not normally be informed about.

“We will continue to work closely with local authorities and other partners to ensure we share the responsibility for keeping our communities safe and that we manage the expectations of us doing more with less.

“We will look at innovative ways to tackle crime, collaborate with partners and use new technology to allow access to more police systems on the go. We have moved some of our police teams to new community bases to save money – this has been reinvested in to policing.

“I’m determined that Northumbria continues deliver effective policing – together we will deliver for our communities.”