On Thursday, December 17, the Home Office announced policing will receive up to £15.8billion ‘to build back safer streets and cut crime’.
The 2021-22 funding package includes more than £400million to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023 – in line with the pledge made by the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.
This will build on the first year of the recruitment campaign, which has already delivered almost 6,000 additional officers nationwide, including 215 in the Northumbria force, one of the largest increases outside of the Metropolitan Police.
The Government’s figures, which do not include additional in-year support provided for Covid-19, show that the ‘maximum cash increase’ Northumbria Police will receive is £18.6million, but this is subject to police and crime commissioners (PCCs) taking full advantage of police precept flexibility.
Northumbria PCC Kim McGuinness said her office is still looking over small print of the policing settlement, but said she is disappointed there has not been an announcement on future funding for Violence Reduction Units.
Ms McGuinness said: “The Home Office funding announcement means we can continue to reverse the 1,100 police officer cuts Northumbria has taken in the last decade.
“As part of these changes, in the new year I will be speaking with the Chief Constable about how to use extra police resources to renew our focus on organised crime. I want Northumbria Police to intensify its efforts to disrupt organised crime at all levels and I’ll back the force with the resources to do the job.
“My office is still going over the small print of the policing settlement, but it is disappointing that there has still not been an announcement from the Home Office over future funding for Violence Reduction Units.
“These teams have been a vital part of efforts to take knives off our streets and divert people away from crime, and we urgently need the Government to commit to this funding.”
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Conservative MP for the Berwick constituency, has welcomed the extra funding.
“I have been in close contact with our local police force this year as they have been instrumental in helping to support our communities through this pandemic,” she said. “I thank them for their hard work and professionalism.
“I am delighted Northumbria Police will receive an extra £18.6million next year. It is important to me that we deliver on our promise to get more officers on our streets, and that is exactly what we are doing.”
The publication of the provisional funding settlement opens a period of consultation and the final police funding settlement will be debated in Parliament ahead of the new financial year.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We have asked more of the police than ever before during the coronavirus pandemic – the British people and I are extremely grateful for their dedication.
“I am absolutely committed to giving the police the resources they need – this funding package delivers on that.
“It will allow us to continue to put more police on the streets and reduce crime as we build back safer from the pandemic.”