Saturday 7 November 2015

£10m Durham Police funding cut – PCC Ron Hogg ‘blasts’ government

Ron HoggDurham’s police commissioner has blasted the Government - after the force was left reeling by a £10m funding cut.
The amount of money Durham Constabulary is likely to receive to police next year is set to be slashed from £80m to £70m after a wide-ranging Government funding review.
Durham and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has hit out at the ‘bewildering’ 12.5% cash cut - which was only broke to police bosses yesterday (06/11/2015).
Mr Hogg said: “I am both angry and bewildered as to how the Government can say that we can police County Durham and Darlington with £10m less to spend each year.
“I have written to the Government in the strongest terms stating that they should abandon this whole process and leave the current funding formula alone as it is causing too much instability, not only for Durham but also for other Forces.
Durham is the highest performing Police Force in the Country and this is what the public expect, however continuation of this is dependent upon the Government taking a sensible view as to the level of funding we need.
Currently the Government’s view totally lacks this common sense approach.”

The Home Office insisted that no final decisions on funding had been taken and said that data and calculations would be “rigorously tested" before any allocations are made.
Earlier this year, the Home Office announced a review of the 10-year-old Police Allocation Formula, the complicated calculation which determines how much cash each force receives from central Government, and launched a consultation process on an alternative funding formula.
However, Mr Hogg claims that on the final day of consultation today an error came to light over the use of the wrong data in calculating “urban adversity”, which would see Durham Constabulary’s grant cut from the current £80m to £70m.
The grant cut does not include any further budget reductions which could be announced in George Osbourne’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of this month

Policing minister Mike Penning MP, said police reform was working and crime was falling.
He said: If we want policing in this country to be the best it can be, then we must reform further, and that includes putting police funding on a long-term, sustainable footing.
The current model for allocating police funding, is complex, opaque and out of date.
That is why we have consulted on principles for reform of funding arrangements for the police in England and Wales, ensuring they are fair, robust and transparent”.
The minister added: “We are refining our proposed model in light of responses to the public consultation and are engaging further with Police and Crime Commissioners and forces as part of this process.
Allocations for individual police force areas have not been set and decisions on funding will not be made until after the Spending Review reports in November.”
Labour MP Kevan Jones said, “The £10m-a-year Government cut announced today to Durham Constabulary’s budget will put further strains on an already under pressure service.
A £10m cut equates to the loss of an additional 200 officers in Durham and explodes the myth of the Tories being the party of law and order.   
It also shows how pathetic the Chancellor’s much-vaunted £30m regional funding really is.
This is the Government giving with one hand, and taking away much more with the other.”

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