STATEMENT FROM COMMISSIONER IN RESPONSE TO NATIONAL AUDIT REPORT ON POLICE FUNDING

Posted on Thursday 13th September

Statement from the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire following the report from the National Audit Office that says government do not know the impact funding cuts have had on police forces.

David Keane said: “Local police funding continues to be subject to stringent austerity measures implemented by central government and over the last few years, police forces have been subject to flat-cash funding from the government. This means funding has not increased in line with inflation and, in fact, has reduced each year with local residents having to make up the shortfall by paying more council tax.

“In Cheshire, we’ve seen a 37 per cent real term cut to our policing budget since 2010. I am doing everything I can to protect front line policing and make back office functions more efficient but our already thin blue line is now at breaking point.

“Crime is becoming more complex and we need increased investment from government to tackle the challenges we face. Our police officers are working harder than ever with increased pressure and ever diminishing resources, yet the government ignored the recommendation of an independent board to give them a 3 per cent pay rise. Instead, they recommended that they should only be given a 2 per cent rise which is to be funded entirely by already stretched local police budgets.

“This shows central government’s lack of understanding of the difficult position police services across the country are in and I am concerned about the long-term impact this could have on our communities.

“I will continue to work with other elected representatives locally to campaign for a fairer funding settlement for policing in Cheshire to allow us to put in place the necessary resources to protect residents.”

The National Audit Office report into financial sustainability of police forces in England and Wales 2018 can be viewed here