Stop asking for money, Vera, says Home Office
RUDD TELLS POLICE CHIEFS TO FOCUS ON CUTTING CRIME
THE Home Secretary has slammed police bosses like Dame Vera Baird for “asking for more money” instead of focusing on cutting crime.
She made the comments while addressing the National Police Chiefs’ Council in London on November 1.
On the same day, Dame Vera Baird, the police and crime commissioner for Northumbria, warned police forces need more funding if they’re going to protect frontline services.
The Home Secretary accepted that part of being a police and crime commissioner is about speaking to the Government about resourcing.
“But it mustn’t just be about lobbying the Government for money,” she said. “It needs to be about cutting crime, delivering on the priorities you were elected on and being held to account by local people in your area when you don’t.
“So when crime stats go up, I don’t just want to see you reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money from the Government.
“I want you to tell your local communities and the victims in your area what your plan is to make them safer.”
On the same day, Dame Baird said forces like North- umbria would struggle to cope with the financial reduction targets imposed by central government.
She pointed to evidence gathered nationally which shows police forces need an extra £1.285bn pound over the next two years to meet demands.
Dame Baird said: “Since 2012, we have seen police budgets reduce nationally by £2.3bn.
“Northumbria force has seen one of the biggest reductions out of all police forces (£123 million) in England and Wales.
“Locally, we have lost nearly 1,000 police officers and nationally the number of police officers on the streets have been reduced.
“Every year we continue to stretch the pound to ensure we squeeze out every penny.
“To protect frontline policing we have had to use reserves, this position is untenable.”
The Home Secretary also made comments at the summit acknowledging that an increase in complex investigatory work and an unprecedented wave of terror attacks had put pressure on forces.
But, she said, police financial reserves now amount to more than £1.6billion, while inspectors have made clear “greater efficiencies” are still available.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd