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Police funding reduced by almost £300 million

Finances for Home Office's policing budget set out five per cent reduction while IPCC and HMIC get more funding

The Home Office's policing budget will be cut by almost £300 million, it has been announced.

Policing Minister Mike Penning announced that total government funding for policing for 2015/16 would be £8.2 billion - a reduction of £299 million from the previous year.

He also confirmed that the government's approach to funding arrangements will continue, which means that every force area will face the same percentage reduction in core central government funding of five per cent.

The cut follows four years of similar proportions being taken out of the Police Service in England and Wales.

Within the budget, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be given a further £30 million to help it bloser resources to investigate all serious and sensitive allegations and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has been awarded £9.4 million for its expanded PEEL inspection programme.

The College of Policing has been given ring-fenced funding of £4.6 million towards its direct entry scheme to "attract, select and train exceptional people who has the potential to become senior leaders in policing," the report stated.

The Police Innovation Fund has been allocated £70 million, and within that £5 million will be used to create the Police Knowledge Fund.

Additionally, £15 million has been set aside for a Police Special Grant, which has been described as a contingency fund, to "support police forces facing unplanned or unexpected additional pressures which might otherwise place them at financial risk".

A total of £40 million has been allocated to major policing programmes, including the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme, the Home Office Biometrics and the National Police Data Programme.

Funding for counter-terrorism will be maintained at £564 million.

In a Parliamentary statement Mr Penning said: "The police in England and Wales are facing many challenges, including new and emerging threats and a growing number of historic investigations.

"This government has always been clear that the police will have the resources they need for their important work, and this will continue to be the case in 2015/16."

He added: "Since 2010 we have seen some of the biggest changes to policing in decades.

"Crime is down by over a fifth. There is significantly greater local accountability and transparency and police leaders have taken the opportunity to radically reform the way they deliver services to the public. Police officers have been taken out of back office roles and resources focused on front line delivery, putting officers back on the streets where the public expect them to be.

"Police forces are working more closely than ever before to reduce costs and duplication, and have started to work more closely with other emergency services through co-location and collaboration in areas such as mental health.

"The police are making their contribution to reducing the deficit and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary have found that the police are successfully meeting the challenge of balancing their books while protecting the frontline and delivering reductions in crime."

PoliceOracle.com will provide reaction and more analysis to this announcement shortly. 

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