Commissioner slams fresh cuts to police budget

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw is asking residents how much they are willing to pay for the police.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw is asking residents how much they are willing to pay for the police.

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Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has blasted the government over fresh budget cuts announced today.

The squeeze on Lancashire Police resources continues after policing minister Mike Penning announced the force will get £3.2m less than expected next year.

The government has unveiled its plans for reducing overall police spending in 2015/16 by £299m.

The grant settlement would see Lancashire get £193.5m from the Home Office in 2015, almost £10m less than this year.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Clive Grunshaw said: “The announcement means an additional £3.2m of cuts to our funding than initially indicated by the Government in the settlement last year.

“This is mainly due to the Government taking money from local police forces for national bodies including funding for the HMIC and IPCC.

“We are also having to bid for extra cash from the Innovation Fund - but this is money that has been top sliced from our own budgets already. It doesn’t make sense. We are spending time and energy bidding for additional resources. We can’t forecast based on whether we will get this funding as it really is a competition.

“Forces such as Lancashire are already working collaboratively and innovatively on digital projects for example and it is madness that we have to bid for the money when we are so obviously already delivering innovation in our policing.”

He said the announcement will mean further cuts to services on top of those it has already planned for.

He added: “We were preparing for £19m of cuts by 2017/18 but now it’s going to be much more.

“The Government keeps taking more and more and at the end of the day it is the people of Lancashire who will see dramatic changes to the way local policing is provided in the future.

“The Chief Constable and his team have managed the cuts well and have been looking to implement new savings initiatives such as improved digital engagement and online reporting. Now they are going to have to find even more savings which is something that I find quite unacceptable.”