Police to get £750 million next year to boost police numbers
The Chancellor has promised the biggest increase in Home Office spending in 15 years to kickstart a surge in officer recruitment.
More than three quarters of a billion pounds will be allocated to increase the number of police officers in England and Wales.
In his Spending Round statement in Parliament on Wednesday (September 4), Sajid Javid announced that £45 million will be provided this financial year to launch the recruitment drive.
Mr Javid said he expects there to be 2,000 more officers by March 2020.
The former Home Secretary said that, in 2020/21, the Home Office budget will increase by 6.3 per cent, allowing £750 million more money to be spent on the surge in new officers, paving the way for forces to have 20,000 more officers in three years.
In what was seen as a possible pre-election boost for policing, Mr Javid said the increase in Home Office spending was the largest in 15 years.
As part of preparations for Brexit, he also announced an extra £2 billion to recruit additional Border Force staff, better transport infrastructure at ports, and more support for business readiness.
He did not provide any news on possible increases in spending on serious organised crime but announced a formal review to identify the powers, capabilities, governance and funding needed, ahead of the full Spending Review next year.
In May, National Crime Agency (NCA) Director-General Lynne Owens claimed there should be £2.7 billion more spent tackling serious organised crime and the NCA’s budget should almost double.
Additional funding would be allocated to double the Places of Worship Fund, after an increase in attacks on mosques and synagogues.
And £30 million of new funding was promised to tackle online child sexual exploitation.
There is also a significant rise in the Ministry of Justice’s funding allocation in 2020/21.
Its resource budget will increase by five per cent in real terms and the capital budget will be raised to £620 million.
The Crown Prosecution Service will see its budget increase by £80 million.
Mr Javid said: “Taken together, today’s Spending Round will dramatically improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.
“With more prosecutors, a reformed probation system, better security in prisons and funding to begin delivery of 10,000 new prison places.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said: “This additional funding represents a significant opportunity for policing. We will be working to recruit 20,000 new police officers which will help us to reduce crime, provide a better service to the public and ease the pressure on our staff.
“We have consistently made the case for additional funding across law enforcement to tackle hate crime, serious organised crime and online child sexual abuse and exploitation. I welcome the commitment by the government to review the powers, levers and funding available to us to tackle serious organised crime, as well as additional funding to protect children against online exploitation and to significantly increase the work that we do to protect places of worship.
“Additional funding announced for the wider criminal justice system is also very welcome as it will help to improve criminal justice outcomes and hold criminals to account.”
Additional promises in the Spending Round, with more for health and education and social care, and no department’s allocation being cut, increases public spending overall by an estimated 4.1 per cent, according to the Treasury.