Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has criticised the continued cuts to police budgets, following the announcement of the provisional police grant settlement earlier today [17 December].
Mr Hogg said: "Today’s announcement confirms that austerity continues to bite. The cut to Durham Constabulary is 5.1%, but once inflation is taken into account, it is upwards of 6%. The Government does not appear to have considered pressures on the police, including increases in demand due to cuts in other services, and the cost of investigating historical cases. They have also carved off money for other organisations, discrediting their claim of a cut of to the police of only 3.5%.
“The 5.1% cut is roughly what we expected, and therefore we should be able to maintain Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers at broadly our planned levels, especially those who are most visible to the public. But the Government must recognise that there will be a limit to how much they can cut before they will be putting services at risk.
“The Government has still not told me by how much I can raise Council Tax. This is frustrating for people who want to know how much policing will cost them in the future. I will be asking people to support a small rise, given that Council Tax is below average and a rise would increase our ability to maintain services.
“Despite these challenges, the Constabulary is committed to the highest levels of public service, and was recently assessed as the only force in the country that is outstanding at investigating crime."
Posted on Wednesday 17th December 2014