Statement from Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach in response to the National Audit Office (NAO) 'Financial sustainability of police forces in England and Wales 2018' report published today (11 September 2018)
“This report confirms what I have been saying for a long time and in February 2017 I wrote a joint letter with the Chief Constable, Simon Cole, to Home Office Ministers drawing their attention to the pressures facing Leicestershire Police.
“The letter highlighted that our population is growing, and criminality is changing. It pointed out that in 2006 we had one officer for every 430 residents in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Today, we have one officer for every 599 residents. The stark reality is that police numbers locally have fallen by more than 20% as a direct result of government austerity. The police are being asked to do more with less and the strain is beginning to show.
“We have repeatedly raised the mounting funding pressures with national and local politicians on both sides of the House. We’ve had letters published in the national press highlighting the financial plight facing policing.
“I therefore find it very difficult to believe that the Home Office does not understand the consequences of its actions. If this is the case, when senior officers and police and crime commissioners have made the point consistently over many years, they have either not listened to our arguments nor read their correspondence.
“In real terms, the Government’s Police Grant has reduced by 30% since 2010/11. As a result, here in Leicestershire, our total funding, which includes the amount local people pay towards policing through their council tax, has fallen by at least £36m.
“Leicestershire Police, like other forces, is facing an increasingly complex mix of challenges with fewer officers, fewer staff and rising costs. We have been forced to make some very difficult decisions to maintain an effective service to residents and businesses across the city and county.
“I welcome the NAO report. I hope it provides a much-needed wake up call to the Home Office that a fair and sustainable funding deal for policing is long overdue.”
Media enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012
You can download the NAO report here
You can download Press Statement on February 2017 Ministerial meeting here
Posted on Tuesday 11th September 2018