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'Extra IPCC and HMIC funds won't cut crime'

Money is being allocated to boost PEEL Assessments as Tom Winsor is praised for introducing them and awarded a new five year contract

Top-slicing local police budgets to pay for national bodies has been branded "unfair" and "disappointing".

The Home Office announced on December 17 that the funding settlement for 2015/16 will be down by almost £300 million on the previous year - equivalent to 5.1 per cent for each force.

There has been incredulity expressed that, at the same time, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be given a further £30 million, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) £9.4 million for its PEEL inspections and the College of Policing £4.6million for its direct entry schemes.

But the government has said that the money reallocated away from forces only accounts for 2.4 per cent of funding for the police.

Meanwhile it was announced yesterday (December 18) that Tom Winsor (pictured) will head up the Inspectorate for a further five years.

Home Secretary Theresa May paid tribute to his efforts in the role since 2012, in particular praising the introduction of the PEEL programme, which is due to have the extra funding next year.

Officers to go

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said on Twitter that the funding for national bodies was "disappointing", while Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "Home Sec[retary] said only job of the police was to cut crime - sorry but HMIC/IPCC do not & will not reduce crime - coproduction with public will."

The force's Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said that the cut means GMP faces a £70 million black hole.

"There are already 1,100 fewer officers on the streets of Greater Manchester with the loss of another 800 to come, and crime is on the rise. We simply cannot cope with further cuts – the money is running out. The government is putting the safety of our communities at risk," he added.

Former Gloucestershire chief constable and academic Dr Tim Brain said: "If forces get more work to do they just have to get on with it but HMIC gets a grant to produce PEEL. Does that really add to the great sum of human knowledge?"

He also noted that his former force had been through two reorganisations since he left it five years ago and predicted local constabularies would have to continually make changes to their structure to keep up with cuts.

Lincolnshire PCC Alan Hardwick, who has joined Chief Constable Neil Rhodes in warning cuts may make his force collapse, told PoliceOracle.com: "It is unfair that local policing, which is the bedrock of policing in Britain, is suffering to help national institutions which are no help to anyone's frontline."

But he said that he was referring to the College of Policing in particular, and supported HMIC funding, as the body that at least "sees the situation" in Lincolnshire and has recognised how the force is managing its finances.

Important for public confidence

Policing Minister Mike Penning said: "The total amount provided through reallocations represents around 2.4 per cent of core government funding for the police.

"It is vital the public has confidence in the integrity of police and the tools that hold them to account, which is why we are strengthening the powers and resources of the IPCC. The funding for HMIC will support their PEEL inspection programme, which provides an important overview of how individual forces are performing.”

Tom Winsor has been reappointed as HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for five years on a contract worth a total of £999,975 over the period.

In a statement on his reappointment, Mr Winsor said: "It has been a great pleasure and honour to lead HMIC at this time and I look forward to continuing to work with its many talented, hard-working staff for the next five years, in order to carry on and intensify our work in the improvement of policing in the public interest."

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