PCC hits back at Home Secretary’s comments

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May 24, 2024

Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen has hit back at comments made by the Home Secretary during his visit last week to Durham Constabulary’s training centre in Meadowfield Industrial Estate.

When asked why there were fewer officers in Durham than in 2010, Home Secretary James Cleverly said that there is ‘money on the table’ for PCCs to invest in more officers and questioned why this hadn’t happened in Durham.

Speaking today PCC Allen said: “Well, my table is bare.  Let me be very clear, I have invested every penny possible into putting more officers on our streets because this is what every single resident wants. What I cannot do is magic up the funding we need to put us back to where we were 10 years ago, before the austerity cuts.  This inconvenient fact appears to have been overlooked.

“Comparing Durham to Essex, which was the example given, is akin to comparing apples and pears.  It merely highlights inequitable police funding formula. However, it is fair to say that Essex, where the Home Secretary has his constituency, comes off significantly better.   

“I’ve written to the government before, and I will continue to drive home the point until somebody listens. One third of the forces in England and Wales (15) have lost officers compared to 2010, despite the 20,000-officer uplift programme. These are mostly areas with high deprivation such as Cleveland and Durham.  The majority also have above average crime rates per officer.

“The Uplift programme offered a golden opportunity to ‘level us up’ but it was completely missed. I should also point out that the funding didn’t cover everything needed to recruit and sustain these new officers.

“Due to the outdated prescriptive formula for funding, unchanged by successive governments, wealthy forces get wealthier while others miss out.

“But I will not give up. As I enter my second term as PCC, I will not be afraid to keep on highlighting these points to get the resources our county warrants.”

Ends

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