Policing to be cut after Election


Over the course of the Spending Review period, the Home Office will reduce overall resource spending by 23% in real terms, and capital spending by 49% in real terms

The police service must play their part in reducing the nation's deficit. Central government police funding will reduce by 20% in real terms by 2014-15. If Police Authorities were to choose to increase precept, part of council tax, at the level forecast by the Office of Budget Responsibility, the SR settlement means that on average police budgets would reduce by 14% in real terms over the next four years.

The department’s central administration budget will be reduced by 33% in real terms over the same period.

The Home Office will manage these reductions by focusing spending where it matters most – protecting the public, and ensuring the security of our border:

• The reforms we are introducing will make police forces more efficient and more effective. We will drive out wasteful spending and increase efficiency and productivity in the back office. We will end central bureaucracy and targets, such as the Policing Pledge, reduce the reporting requirements for Stop and Search and scrap the 'stop' form in its entirety. We will also modernise pay and conditions.

• By cutting out costs and scrapping bureaucracy we are saving hundreds of millions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of man hours – so this settlement should not lead to any reduction in police officers visible and available on the streets.

• The introduction of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners will make forces truly accountable to the communities they serve and ensure that resources are properly targeted to where they are needed most.

• We will ensure that the UK retains its capabilities to tackle the terrorist threat. Counter-terrorism specific policing will be protected with a smaller percentage cut than overall police funding of 10% in real terms and we will ensure the right funding is in place to deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games in 2012.

• The UK Border Agency’s budget will be cut by up to 20% over the next four years. The agency will save around £500 million in efficiencies by reducing support costs; improving productivity and value for money from commercial suppliers.

It will also invest in new technologies to secure the border and control migration at a lower cost. An increasing proportion of the costs of controlling immigration and securing our border will be met by migrants and visitors to the UK.

• We will abolish the National Policing Improvement Agency saving at least £50m. Some of its functions will be absorbed into the National Crime Agency which will lead the fight against organised crime, protect our border, and provide services best delivered at a national level.In addition, the department will be adopting two ideas suggested by the public through the Spending Challenge process. We will make it possible for employers to share CRB checks, reducing the need for multiple checks. We will also ensure police forces can make procurement savings by acting together when buying goods and services.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, said:

“My absolute priority, as Home Secretary, is to ensure that the UK retains its capabilities to protect the public, secure the border and tackle the terrorist threat. We also have a responsibility to reduce the budget deficit and the Home Office must play its part in this.“I believe that by improving efficiency, driving out waste, and increasing productivity we can maintain a strong police service, a secure border and effective counter terrorism capabilities whilst delivering significant savings.”

Source: ©treasury

Labour's love affair with Europe

Labour has had a conflicted relationship with “Europe” and its various stages of political union, ever since Ernie Bevin rejected Jean Monet’s 1950s plan for a European Coal and Steel Community because “the Durham Miners wouldn’t buy it”.

Political historian Peter Hennessy has explained that this opposition reflected both the workers’ concerns that they would lose control of the just-newly nationalised heavy industries, but also how those same men had fought across Europe just a decade before as the Durham Light Infantry, and would be loath to share any form of power or sovereignty with their former foes.

More than half a century later, these old suspicions and enmities have dwindled but Labour has remained restricted by a parochial Weltanschauung.

Tony Blair promised in 1997 to put Britain “at the heart of Europe” but rapidly found himself constrained first by New Labour’s timidity towards the tabloid press (remember The Sun’s headline describing then-German finance minister Oskar Lafontaine as “the most dangerous man in Europe” over tax harmonization proposals?), and then by the toxic fallout from the Iraq War and Donald Rumsfeld’s distinctions between “Old” and “New” Europe.

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