Plans to allow police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to reduce demand on policing by funding areas such as domestic abuse initiatives and specific NHS projects have been welcomed by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland PCC Rupert Matthews.
The proposal forms part of a review into Police and Crime Commissioners launched by the Government last month which is currently subject to consultation.
Rupert Matthews said: “I can see the logic. One of my key responsibilities and that of my PCC colleagues is to ensure that policing and community safety measures meet the needs of the local community. The demand on policing is far more diverse than ever before and the causes of crime are more acute and complex that previously experienced. Working in partnership, integrating services, brigading resources with our partners and supporting one another’s budgets has and will continue to make a real difference to the quality of people’s lives.
“Obviously any funding provided would need to be considered carefully in terms of return on investment. If it’s not going to reduce the demand on policing and improve the service we provide then it won’t happen but I do think that it could work well.
“There are many brilliant examples where pooling resources, sharing budgets and collaborative working has changed the police response and reduced the demands. Our collective approach has reduced the practice of mental health patients being held in custody units as a place of safety.
“I also have responsibility for the provision of victim support services and I have been very clear that I want to support work that will prevent crime from happening in the first place. So, if by funding alternative services I can improve the support provided to victims of domestic abuse and reduce the prospect of repeat offences, it is money well spent.
“Some people are likely to say that this is ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ but I think, if well-implemented, this is more like ‘paying Paul to help Peter’.
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Posted on Friday 3rd September 2021