PCC calls on PM May to correct herself

Dame Vera Baird QC
Dame Vera Baird QC

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on the Prime Minister to ‘put it right’ after Theresa May was officially rebuked for misleading MPs and the public over false claims on police funding.

The chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, ruled on Tuesday that the claim made by May at Prime Minister’s Questions last month ‘could have led the public to conclude incorrectly’ that the Government was providing an extra £450million over the next financial year.

The extra £450million that May claimed was available was actually a flat cash settlement for police forces in England and Wales that amounted to a cut in direct Whitehall grants to the police in real terms.

Dame Vera Baird QC said: “I have challenged time and time again this claim – because spouting such rubbish is misleading and wrong.”

She added: “Let’s be absolutely clear, the Government is moving the responsibility of police funding from central government to council taxpayers, which is wrong. The funding package put together by Amber Rudd for Northumbria Police assumed that I would increase the police precept by £12 for a band D property – if I didn’t, this would have resulted in a budget reduction of £5.1million, on top of the £135million cut since 2010. Every penny raised through the police precept is invested back in to policing.”