Following the speech by the Home Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, to the NPCC/APCC Partnership Summit in London on Wednesday, Keith Hunter, Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, has issued the following statement:
“The National Police Chiefs Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, a cross party organisation, have submitted to the Home Office a very detailed case outlining the real growth required in police funding to deal with the additional threats, demand and complexity of the current policing challenge. “I doubt, however, the willingness of the Government to change their stance on driving down the money they provide for local forces so I held out little hope for the Home Secretary’s speech. Unfortunately she failed to meet even my very limited expectations.
In the light of a national 13% increase in recorded crime, adding work to overstretched forces, she relies upon a survey of people’s experiences of crime which indicates a reduction in their exposure to crime, to argue against there being a case for more money.
“She completely ignored the fact that crime accounts for only around 20% of the demand on policing and that the growing complexity and seriousness of crimes being committed requires more resources. Every community I speak to is telling me general lawlessness is growing and they want more police officers and PCSOs. Chief Officers across the country highlight how the police are filling gaps for other services especially around mental health issues, yet the Home Secretary’s response was to tell Police and Crime Commissioners to stop publicly asking for more money and concentrate on reducing crime.
“This manages to be dismissive of our duty to speak truthfully to our residents, whilst contradicting her initial claim that crime is still coming down relying upon her favoured measure. The Government has effectively put its fingers in its ears and is merrily singing “la la la” while communities are crying out for help and the experts are providing the verifiable data justifying the request. “We will wait and see what the budget brings, but no additional central Government funding going into local forces will be ignoring both the expert evidence and the wishes of the community. Locally I am working with the Chief Constable to ensure our available funds are concentrated on providing additional officers and building the partnerships that can deliver improved community safety. This will improve our ability to deliver in the short term but I want our communities to receive an even better and more responsive and sustainable service. That requires Government money and I urge everyone to make their views known to their MPs.”