Stop ask­ing for money, Vera, says Home Of­fice


Sunday Sun - - News - By Sean Sed­don Reporter sean.sed­don@trin­i­tymir­

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

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