MP backs commissioner’s use of reserves to protect the frontline - The Evesham Observer

MP backs commissioner’s use of reserves to protect the frontline

Rob George 15th Feb, 2018   0

PERSHORE’s MP Harriett Baldwin has backed West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion’s plans to raid the force’s cash reserves to protect frontline staff numbers.

Mr Campion has published plans which will see the force spend £31million of its reserves on policing and infrastructure. The MP has supported the proposal which will see the forces’ extensive cash reserves reduced to £13million.

Total funding for the police will rise to £206.5million this year alongside a commitment to ensure more resources go into frontline policing

The PCC is proposing a package of measures to deliver further efficiencies to back office functions together with a proposal to raise the precept by £7.58 for the average council tax bill payer.




“For several years, I have been urging West Mercia Police to deliver greater levels of efficiency savings and to use their extensive reserves to ensure more resources go towards supporting frontline policing,” Mrs Baldwin said.

“I support this plan adopted by the Police and Crime Commissioner as he attempts to deal with increasingly complex crimes like domestic abuse, sexual violence and child sexual exploitation.


“I have also written to him urging him to focus on preventing crime in the more rural areas of Worcestershire and to show progress detecting crimes like the cashpoint raids on our local stores.

“By bringing the reserves down to more manageable levels, I am pleased to support John Campion’s efforts to improve policing across Worcestershire.”

Mr Campion welcomed the Home Office’s decision to publish how much cash each police force has in the bank.

He spoke out after Police and Fire Service Minister Nick Hurd revealed a database where members of the public can go to see how their local Police and Crime Commissioner is managing the money held by police forces across the country.

In March 2017, the police collectively held over £1.6billion in usable resource reserves, which compares to £1.4billion in 2011. There are wide variations between areas from Gwent holding 42 per cent of their annual funding in reserves to Northumbria holding under seven per cent.

Mr Campion said: “West Mercia has been sitting on funds of around £60million in recent years – which is simply not acceptable. This is why I have made a commitment to responsibly reduce the reserves to a sensible level of £13million by 2019/20 whilst also supporting West Mercia Police to a balanced budget in the same period.

“I am utilising the reserves to bring the police estate into the 21st century and equip officers to meet the needs of modern policing.”

“Since coming into post I have stood by my election pledge, which was I would always make sure public money is used as effectively and efficiently as possible before asking our communities to contribute any more.”

Visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-financial-reserves for details of all the cash held by each Police and Crime Commissioner since 2011.

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