The Government yesterday published its Provisional Police Funding Settlement for 2022/23.
Commenting on the Minister of State for Crime and Policing's statement, APCC Finance Lead Roger Hirst said: "PCCs welcome this funding which will enable us to complete the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers. We are delighted that the uplift programme is fully funded which will mean that not only will we get the extra officers, but the necessary technology as well.
This settlement will also enable policing to complete its shift towards a more prevention-based approach, getting crime down and tackling key areas like drug-driven violence and violence against women and girls. Additional resources given to projects like the Safer Streets Fund play a crucial role in this.
PCCs recognise that this has been a hugely challenging time for police officers and we want to ensure their work during the pandemic is recognised and that we can invest in them and their capabilities. This three-year settlement is intended to cover a police pay settlement as well as the increase in numbers. However, if inflation does pick up in the months ahead then we would need to go back to Government to ensure that a decent settlement is affordable at the same time as we invest in extra capacity, and police pay is not eroded.
We acknowledge the fact that whilst the Government is increasing funding centrally, a proportion of the funding is reliant on PCCs increasing the precept locally over the next three years. PCCs will be weighing up demands of community safety against the ability of local people to pay for more policing.
Whilst this investment will help us to deliver on the policing uplift, we know we have to continue on our drive to make the service more efficient. The process of reviewing the funding formula is also now underway and we are working with the Government to progress it as quickly as possible to ensure that the system is fairer for the public.
APCC Deputy Finance Lead Dr Alan Billings said: The police grant settlement will impact differently on different forces.
For those force areas that are more dependent on grant than council tax - which tend to be more urban and more northerly - the finances this year will be very challenging. Meeting the increase in officers and everything that follows from that will bring extra pressures.
While the continued increase in police officer numbers is welcomed, it would be a step back if this could only be achieved in some forces by having warranted officers drafted into what should be civilian posts or by losing police community support officers.
The assumptions in the settlement for inflation may turn out to be unrealistic as general inflation is rising and police pay is subject to negotiation next year. PCCs and chief finance officers will have to make their own prudent decisions.
The total funding available for policing assumes that council tax precepts will be set at 10 more for a Band D property. This will be seen as a significant and unwelcome tax increase in those parts of the country where people are already struggling financially. Yet these are often places of more serious crime, because serious crime breeds in deprived communities.
All PCCs want the best outcomes for their force area and will work with government to achieve it but some PCCs will face more significant pressures than others.