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23rd Jan 20
Commenting on the Home Office announcement of the financial settlement for policing, Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:
“This settlement marks an increase in central funding to policing: it is better than we had hoped for and that is most welcome. It is based on an expectation that I will increase council tax by £10 a year, and I am taking that into consideration as I decide my council tax intentions, which I will announce on February 4.
“The Government’s increased settlement is to support the recruitment of extra officers across the country and the funding announced confirms that we will be able to recruit 57 further officers. We will only receive that funding when those 57 officers have been recruited but the Force has made a good start and I am confident that we will be able to draw down that money.
“People have told me very clearly that they want to see more police in Northamptonshire and we are working to deliver that.
“We had already announced in 2019/20 that we were using locally-raised funding to recruit 200 extra officers, 83 of which were brand new posts that would increase the number of officers in Northamptonshire to 1310. We had planned to do this by 2021 but we are on target to reach that number by May this year, which will take the Force back to the size it was in 2010. Funding for the 57 officers boosts the Force still further and means an increase to 1367 officers by March 2021.
“Whilst funding for future years is not confirmed, we expect Northamptonshire’s share of the total uplift previously announced by the Government could see total funding for approximately 190 extra officers. If this is received, it would take the Force to over 1500 officers by 2023.
“But Northamptonshire is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country and while that gives us more through the council tax precept, it also means much more demand for our police officers. Our projections show that by 2023, the county population will have grown by 65,000, so demand for policing continues to outstrip the growth in officer numbers.
“The ability to recruit more officers is fantastic, but we only have certainty of funding for 2020/21 and we also have to plan the budget to make sure that we continue to afford those increased numbers of officers in future years, and also to invest in ways to prevent crime and reoffending and bring down the demand for policing services.
“We are currently going through the detail of this settlement and I am looking at what this means for the council tax I ask people to pay – going for an increase of 2.99% or 3.99%, or £10 as the Government suggests. I’m weighing up my wish not to place a bigger financial burden on the hard working council tax payers of Northamptonshire against the need to ensure Northamptonshire Police has the resources to keep people safe. I will announce what this means for council tax payers in the next few days,” Stephen Mold added.
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said:
Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, said: “I am really pleased that additional funding has been allocated to Northamptonshire Police. This is long overdue but will allow me and my staff to build greater capabilities and resilience in those areas which have suffered over the past ten years.
“This is a welcome boost which will allow us to rebuild neighbourhood policing and focus on those issues which affect the quality of life of those we serve, as well as providing us with additional staff and equipment. Further investment will also go into technology and in refining our processes to ensure that the public gets an effective, modern and efficient service.
“Fighting crime and protecting people has been my focus since I was appointed and we have made significant inroads in achieving this. The additional funding will allow me to accelerate our progress in this regard as well as expanding our community safety offer.”