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Forces should not be made to “bid for their own money”, says PCC Vera Baird

16th August 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, and fellow Labour PCCs have attacked the government for making forces ‘bid for their own money’, through what is called the Police Transformation Fund.

The Police Transformation Fund was launched to allow police forces across England and Wales to apply for funding for forward-thinking programmes and initiatives in their force areas.

However, the group of Labour PCCs say this is not extra funding being made available by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, it is their own money, taken from their own force budgets, which they are now being made to apply for.

In 2016/17 a total of £76.4m was taken from every police force in England and Wales, through a process called ‘top-slicing’. £34.8m of this money was made available for individual forces to bid for.

This means money that the government allocated for each force has been reduced and held by the government before it arrives in each force’s bank account, explains Ms Baird.

She said: “Is it right to make police forces bid for their own money? Absolutely not. We’ve no doubt that forces across England and Wales will develop excellent schemes, that will make a difference to local communities – but this scheme comes at a cost.

“Any reduction in funding to a police force will affect frontline operations.  We would much prefer to see the government promote the value of the Police Transformation Fund – if they had provided the funding.  Instead they are promoting the spending of money that has been taken from all forces and if we are lucky, we might get a fraction of what has been ‘top-sliced’ back.”