Pressures to continue following police grant announcement

15 December 2016

Forces will continue to feel the pressure of ongoing austerity following today’s announcement of the proposed police budget allocation for 2017/18.

Once again there is likely to be a range of reactions from forces across England and Wales with allocations varying throughout.

Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “As with last year’s announcement the increases being offered are, in most cases, quite minimal. There is also a continuing push for local government authorities and the Welsh Government to maximise local precepts.”

“Police forces are already working under extreme budgetary pressure, but the public can be assured that our officers will continue to do their very best with the resources they have.”

The Minister of State for Fire and Policing, Brandon Lewis, outlined the government’s commitment to increase funding to the Police Transformation Fund (£40m), some of which (£32m) will be used to increase the services armed policing capability to improve public safety. Additional funding will also be made available to improve technology.

Steve White said: “We welcome the government’s commitment to invest more in armed policing but this has to be balanced with ensuring those left filling the gaps are suitably equipped to protect both the public and themselves.

“The results of our recent Taser survey show that the public supports officers carrying Taser and we want to see funding made available to chief officers to allow them to equip those who volunteer to be trained.”

The Minister of State also outlined funding (£15m) to support extra costs on magistrate’s courts and legal aid following changes to pre charge bail proposed in the Policing and Crime Bill, which are expected to gain Royal Ascent in the New Year.

Steve White added: “This amount is a drop in the ocean and unlikely to impact on the increased demand our members will face in managing this change.”