A matter of funding

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Sussex Police - funding should be spent to the benefit residents, not on political whims

I am aware that individuals across the country understand very little about the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and their funding. I hope that what I am about to reveal will be enlightening to many who read this and similarly will provoke some thought and discussion because I believe the matter to be hugely important.

The police budget across the country is funded identically. The largest proportion comes from a central government grant and this is supplemented through the council tax precept for policing. Readers will be aware that our PCC has requested increases for successive years from this source. Indeed, the increase for the year 2022/2023 represents the highest increase for all local services in Sussex.

In relation to the central government grant, a proportion is held back and this can be bid for by PCCs throughout the year in order to fund initiatives related to policing nominated by our central government e.g. the bid to reduce knife crime. PCCs are also given amounts from which local projects can make bids for funding from. These are granted solely at the discretion of PCCs.

It is these that I am interested in covering within this letter. There seems to me to be a dichotomy where PCCs who are supposedly not permitted to influence operational policing are actively taking away the money that could be spent on this in order to invest in projects that they favour. I argue that this money should be given as it always used to be to chief constables to benefit local policing and the general public rather than specifically favoured groups. The alternative is for chief constables and PCCs to fund specific local initiatives to improve policing in their counties.

I will give readers an example of what I mean which featured in the PCC’s newsletter of 88 April 2022. As part of the Home Office’s “Safer Streets” funding, the PCC secured money that she allocated to East Sussex County Council to deliver “healthy relationship” training to state-funded secondary schools. This included “theatre in education performance” where, “through acting and storytelling, young people are engaged in learning about safe healthy relationships, harmful behaviours, equality and respect”. Apparently, this addressed themes regarding sexism, misogyny and building healthy relationships.

Whilst this issue may be important, I fail to see how why it should receive funding from the police budget? Surely if the issues involved are worthy of addressing then the education authorities should be funding such events? Personally, I would like to see such money being spent on front-line policing initiatives to the benefit of all residents. Public money should not be made available to politically motivated PCCs in order to further their agendas with a focus on the latest politically correct whim. It should be used by politically neutral chief constables to the benefit of all. PCCs need to stick to policing priorities I would suggest!

Image Credits: Unsplash http://www.unsplash.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you Kevin for your well reasoned and moderate perspective. I especially note that you do not rate “healthy relationship training” as unimportant, but just observe that it may be better addressed within the educational sphere than paid for from the policing budget. Having spent the last 40 minutes listening to a motorcyclist racing all round the town, causing a nuisance to many and an actual danger to some, I think I’d happily vote for the funds to be devoted to greater police presence.

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