- More police officers for Greater Manchester
- Neighbourhood policing at budget’s core
- Working in partnership to improve services
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has published his spending plans.
The proposals outline the vision for neighbourhood-based policing which works in partnership with other agencies to improve services for our communities across Greater Manchester.
The budget sets out how the modest increase in the police element of your council tax bill will be solely used to recruit more than 200 police officers and staff over the coming year.
In addition, he will more than double the number of apprentices being taken on by the force in 2013/14 from 22 to 50 – creating real opportunities for the long-term unemployed in the region.
The budget also outlines Tony’s commitment to working effectively with other agencies to improve services for all. For example, he will create a £200,000 fund to improve joint working with the NHS on issues like mental health.
Working with the Chief Constable, Tony will deliver this despite the government cutting funding to Greater Manchester Police of more than £10m over the coming year.
Tony said: “Every single penny of the extra money raised through the small increase to the policing part of your council tax bill is being used to boost front-line policing. For the average property, that increase is just over a penny a day. I think that represents great value.
“Policing is at its best when it is connected to the community it serves. This budget will help maintain that critical link between you and your local policing team. It will also show that the police are part of our community, with the force doing its part to help tackle long-term unemployment with the creation of 50 new apprentices.
“We’re also at our best when all agencies work effectively together, which is why I’ve created a £200,000 fund to invest in closer partnership working with the NHS to help address some of the big issues affecting our neighbourhoods. We know, for example, that mental health can be one of the things that can drive people into crime. Addressing this together will help those who suffer from it, and let the police get on with the job the public wants them to do.
“I’m not going to pretend that everything is rosy – it isn’t. The pace of cuts forced on GMP is unacceptable. I have done everything I can to ensure that we mitigate the impact the cuts have had so far – it’s now the government’s turn to recognise that enough is enough and realise that investing in policing is good for us all.
“We’ve already seen £90m slashed from the local police budget and I am very concerned that central government could be planning to make another £85 of cuts over the next four years. This is reckless and I will be lobbying government at the highest levels over the coming months and years in the hope that they will think again.”
Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “The Force has been through a very difficult time with the loss of so many dedicated staff and so much change required to cope with the budget reductions. We need this increase in the council tax to keep our operational officers out on the streets protecting the public and fighting crime but even with this increase we will still face a reduction in staff overall. We will be able to fund a number of initiatives to further improve the local service to the public and drive out inefficiencies. We know the coming years will not be any easier but this budget will help the Force to maintain the reduction in crime and ensure we concentrate maximum effort on what matters to local people.”
The proposed total police bill for the average Band D property will be £149.33 in 2013/14 – or £2.87 a week. This is one of the lowest in the country. It will raise an extra £3.3m which will be used to pay for 50 new police officers; 70 neighbourhood policing support staff and 50 investigative assistants to help put officers back on the frontline; 30 new radio operators and a pool of experienced retired detectives to support specialist investigations.
The budget will pay for 28 neighbourhood policing teams across Greater Manchester – with the number of PCSOs being kept at their current levels.
The budget will be formally announced at the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Forum, which the public are welcome to attend, on Tuesday 19 February, at 3.30pm. View the full agenda.