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‘Our police forces need to be properly funded’ says Dame Vera Baird

22nd June 2017

Over the last few days, there has been comments made by Government Ministers stating that police funding has been protected and Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria is providing clarity from an “on the ground perspective”.

Dame Vera Baird said: “Let me be absolutely clear, as Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria I can categorically state that police funding has not been protected.  Since 2010 to today, Northumbria Police force has needed to make savings and cuts of £136 million to manage reductions in funding, this is a real terms reduction in excess of 23%.  For 2017/18 national direct funding for all forces was cut by 1.4%, £3.0m in Northumbria’s case, with local tax payers 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.”

Dame Vera has called upon the Home Secretary and Prime Minister to sort the funding problem.  Dame Vera said: “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 state that counter-terrorism funding would increase by 30% by 2022, that dates needs to be brought forward to NOW.”

Dame Vera Baird supports the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley in his determination to seek reassurances from Home Office ministers that funding will not be diverted from mainstream policing and that the Home Office will provide the extra funds needed.  Dame Vera said “We’ve seen policing budgets cut year after year – it needs to stop and our police forces need to be properly funded to allow Chief Constable’s and police officers to do the job that the public expect them to do.”