Home Secretary not ruling out more crime prevention cuts as she meets regional police commissioners

The Northern Echo: The Home Secretary The Home Secretary

THE Home Secretary failed to rule out further cuts to vital crime prevention work, when she met the region’s new elected police chiefs today (Monday, December 3).

Theresa May said the 41 police and crime commissioners (PCCs) would have to await a detailed funding announcement for forces in the week before Christmas.

The ‘community safety fund’ (CSF) - which pays for projects including CCTV cameras, street lighting and tackling gangs - has been slashed by 60 per cent in just two years.

Speaking after the meeting, Barry Coppinger, Cleveland’s PCC, said: “The Home Secretary was not able to give us any definite answers.

“A lot of the PCCs registered our concerns about the reductions in both the police grant and also the potential for further reductions to the community safety fund.

“If that was to happen, that would have a major impact on valuable projects that are going on in every borough in the North-East and co-operation between local agencies.”

During the meeting, Mr Coppinger also raised:

* Ongoing 20 per cent cuts to the Cleveland force’s overall budget - triggering the loss of 270 officers, by 2015.

* A lack of funds for treating the effects of alcohol abuse - compared with higher sums spent on drug treatment and rehabilitation.

* Growing concerns about illegal money-lending.

Mr Coppinger said: “This lending can draw people into other criminal activity, something I will discuss with the head of the National Crime Agency, when he visits the North-East in the New Year.”

The region’s other PCCs - Ron Hogg (Durham), Julia Mulligan (North Yorkshire) and Vera Baird (Northumbria) - also attended the meeting, but none were available for comment.

The Home Office has repeatedly declined to end the uncertainty about police budgets for next April and beyond, when PCCs will assume control.

The Northern Echo understands that those figures are unlikely to be announced until as late as December 19 or 20, the last day parliament sits before the Christmas recess. However, criticised for the 60 per cent cut to community safety funds, the Home Office has argued PCCs will also control other funding streams, including drug interventions programme grants.

Mr Coppinger was elected on a 15 per cent turnout, on November 15 - in line with the dismal national average - which he blamed on a lack of public understanding.

He has already changed the force's structure by replacing chief executive Stuart Pudney with the secondment of Ed Chicken, Middlesbrough Council's head of community safety.

Comments (4)

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11:00pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Daza says...

I see certain PCC declined to comment!

That sounds like not wanting to be outspoken and upsetting ones paymaster to me!
I see certain PCC declined to comment! That sounds like not wanting to be outspoken and upsetting ones paymaster to me! Daza

9:01am Tue 4 Dec 12

st-george1 says...

Albert Einstein reputedly once said … The world is a dangerous place to live in… not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t, won’t or can’t do anything about it …

Mr Coppinger seems to be the spokesperson now … yet he and his council friends in the old CPA couldn’t manage law enforcement when they were ripping off the taxpayers, so what’s different now that we have Labour Party PCCs in the North East saying they will do a non-political job in a professional manner FAIRLY if there is more cash !
Albert Einstein reputedly once said … The world is a dangerous place to live in… not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t, won’t or can’t do anything about it … Mr Coppinger seems to be the spokesperson now … yet he and his council friends in the old CPA couldn’t manage law enforcement when they were ripping off the taxpayers, so what’s different now that we have Labour Party PCCs in the North East saying they will do a non-political job in a professional manner FAIRLY if there is more cash ! st-george1

10:15am Tue 4 Dec 12

stevegg says...

You cant fight crime on the cheap. With 20% police cuts (the highest cuts to any government funded body) this is a recipe for disaster. All serving officers I know are totally demoralised who are being told to do much more for much less. The PCC need to make a stand and say enough, which the old guard police authority and senior police management have completely failed to do. The PCC were voted in to be the publics voice and the public want more police officers on the streets, not less.
You cant fight crime on the cheap. With 20% police cuts (the highest cuts to any government funded body) this is a recipe for disaster. All serving officers I know are totally demoralised who are being told to do much more for much less. The PCC need to make a stand and say enough, which the old guard police authority and senior police management have completely failed to do. The PCC were voted in to be the publics voice and the public want more police officers on the streets, not less. stevegg

11:22am Tue 4 Dec 12

David Lacey says...

The PCC were not elected to challenge the Government. They were elected to oversee the activities of local police forces and link police priorities to the wishes of the community.
.
I don't care if coppers are demoralised. It is time they were made to work harder and longer for less. 80% of people work in the private sector and they have had to put up with the realities of life for years.
.
If the public want more police on the streets (and we've been screaming out for that for years) then get them off their backsides and where they can do some good.
The PCC were not elected to challenge the Government. They were elected to oversee the activities of local police forces and link police priorities to the wishes of the community. . I don't care if coppers are demoralised. It is time they were made to work harder and longer for less. 80% of people work in the private sector and they have had to put up with the realities of life for years. . If the public want more police on the streets (and we've been screaming out for that for years) then get them off their backsides and where they can do some good. David Lacey

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