Britain’s police budgets to lose £700m by 2020, amid rising crime
Police will have £700m less a year to fight crime in the coming years, and fewer officers too, despite forces already being under “significant stress”, the emergency services watchdog said on Wednesday.
According to the police inspectorate, all forces will spend £12.3bnin 2017/18, but that is projected to fall by 6% to £11.6bn by 2020/21.
The intervention by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services, in a report on police efficiency, came amid a dispute between the government and much of the police service in advance of the chancellor’s budget later this month.
Police chiefs said they needed more than £400m extra a year to stem rising demands, including relating to increasing crime, and, if rebuffed, could have to cut officers and further ration services, they said.
The inspectorate also dismissed government claims that forces could raid a large stash of reserves totalling £1.6bn to keep bobbies on the beat.
While the budget declines, officer numbers will fall, by just under 3,000 to 120,217 by 2020/21, with police staff numbers falling too, an overall further cut in the workforce of 2%.
There was some comfort for the government in the report, with the inspectorate finding police could spend their money more efficiently, but most forces – 32 of 42 assessed – were scored as good or outstanding on efficiency. Read More
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