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Provisional police funding settlement of 3.6 per cent announced

Forces are to receive an additional £287m from central government in 2023-24 under the provisional settlement, while PCCs will be allowed to raise the council tax precept to £15.

The  government has confirmed plans to increase police funding by up to £287 million, while PCCs will also be allowed to charge more through the council tax precept.

The proposals for 2023/2024, detailed in the provisional police funding settlement laid before parliament today, will be part-funded by residents should PCCs elect to riade the precept .

While the increased funding from central government will take overall spending to £17.2 billion, the 3.6% cash increase falls below the current rate of inflation. 

This has been highlighted by the NPCC's Deputy Lead for Finance, Chief Constable Paul Sandford, who said: "We welcome the investment that policing has received over the past several years and the funding announced in today's provisional police grant, which comes at a challenging time for public finances.

"The additional money going to policing is positive, however due to inflationary pressures there will still be difficult decisions over service delivery, meaning further pressure on already stretched police forces.

“We recognise that inflation is having a substantial impact on everyone in policing, and we will be working closely with our policing partners ahead of our upcoming submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body.”

Allowing PCCs to increase their precept by up to £15 for a typical Band D property would generate an additional £349m compared to 2022/23 - should all PCCs choose to do so.

The PCC for Wiltshire and Swindon, Philip Wilkinson, is among those angling to implement the increase, and has asked residents to support the plans.

This process, however, is subject to a period of consultation and approval from the House of Commons through the Local Government Finance Settlement. 

In terms of central government funding, an additional £74m has been made available - beyond the grants announced as part of Spending Review 2021 - to honour commitments made earlier this year to cover the 2022/23 pay award.

This settlement provides £1.1bn for national priorities such as serious violence, county lines and exploitation and abuse, while counter-terrorism policing will be given over £1bn in 2023/24.

Funding to improve the criminal justice system, victim care, and investigation outcomes has been included in the national priorities allocation, as has money for technological improvements.

Though welcoming of the increased funding, CC Sandford identified a number of issues facing forces today.

He continued: "The level of demand on policing remains high, with a substantial amount of non-crime demand, such as health and social work, that police are required to step into due to an absence of other service provision.

"We are also taking too many people away from frontline policing to deal with bureaucracy, with an estimated 1,200 officers and staff last year involved in ensuring compliance with crime recording requirements, at a cost of around £47 million annually."

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