Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has reaffirmed his commitment to delivering his key crime priorities despite receiving confirmation that next year’s policing grant will be slashed by a further 5 per cent.
In an announcement yesterday, the Home Office revealed that overall police funding in England and Wales will be cut by 5.1% in 2015-16 which equates to a loss of approximately £10m in Nottinghamshire taking into account inflation.
A total of £718m will be top-sliced from the policing budget to fund national organisations such as the Counter Terrorism Unit. Of this £251m is set aside for specific policing initiatives including the Innovation Fund and PFI - an increase of 52% in comparison to 2014-15. Some of this funding will be returned to local police forces however many of the initiatives will require police forces to compete for grants.
Commenting on the settlement, Commissioner Tipping said: “This is another tough settlement, the consequences of which will be felt locally as we attempt to reduce our budget even further. The financial pressures we face will be exacerbated by the significant increase in top-slicing to fund national organisations and initiatives.
“In Nottinghamshire, we are trying to address the challenging financial situation through greater collaboration with other forces and locally with public sector partners but they too are facing the same pressures. The impact of any funding cut inevitably affects our local communities and as a consequence we have had to redesign how we deliver local policing and how we respond to calls where urgent help is not required in order to match our scarce resources to greatest need.
“In addition, we are working closely with our partners in the health sector and local authorities to ensure situations which warrant specialist intervention such as issues of mental health are dealt with by the most appropriate agency rather than the Police.
“We have examined all areas of our operation and there is little left to remove from our budget however we will continue to seek out new ways of working to release the savings required next year and in future years, and we know more needs to be done.”
At this stage details of the referendum limit - the amount at which police forces can increase council tax without forcing a local referendum - are unknown.
Commissioner Tipping added: “To assist with planning on this basis, we would welcome an early indication of the likely level at which a referendum would be triggered. To be in a similar position as we were in last year - Police and Crime Commissioners setting budgets without first receiving this clarity - would be unhelpful.”