Home Office working on funding analysis as budget officially confirmed by Policing Minister

The Government is considering releasing regular analysis of police funding as the budget for 2018/19 was formally confirmed.

Apr 24, 2018
By Adam Button
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The police service will receive an additional £460 million this year to help it manage “more complex and resource intensive work”, Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd claimed in a statement to Parliament.

More than half of this sum will come from changes to the council tax precept, while the remaining government investment has been ring-fenced for specialist priorities.

Home Office statisticians are also looking into how detailed reviews of funding can be published in the future after the Government was rebuked for its potentially misleading descriptions of the budget.

Mr Hurd said: “The Government recognises that police funding is a complex topic and is committed to presenting and explaining police funding clearly.

“The UK Statistics Authority suggested the Home Office should produce a regular analysis of police funding in line with the principles set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics.

“The Home Office Statistician is currently considering how this could be achieved.”

In March, UK Statistics Authority chair Sir David Norgrove issued a statement claiming the Prime Minister could have mislead the public when she said the Government is boosting police funding with “extra” money.

The £460 million being provided this year is around £10 million more than was first indicated in December, due to changes in the level brought in from council tax.

For the first time, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are being allowed to increase their precept by £12 a year per average household.

While the Home Office first estimated this rise would bring in £270 million, the support shown by all PCCs has increased the total to £280 million.

The remainder of the budget includes £130 million for the Special Grant and a £50 million investment in counter-terrorism policing.

This fund will bring the overall counter-terrorism budget to £757 million, including £29 million to increase armed officer numbers to around 7,000 throughout England and Wales.

The Police Transformation Fund has also been maintained at £175 million.

However, the proportion of the budget provided directly by the Home Office has not changed from 2017/18 levels, and the Government is encouraging further savings through efficiencies.

Areas targeted for reform include productivity, as the Home Office believes saving an extra hour each day through mobile working could free up the equivalent of 11,000 officers per year.

PCCs are also being asked to make more prudent use of the £1.6 billion held in usable reserves.

Mr Hurd said: “Taken together, the Government has listened to the police, we have substantially increased police funding for 2018/19, we have demonstrated our complete commitment to protecting the public from terrorism, and we have provided the police with the tools to respond to changing demand.”

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