13 April 2018: Delivering for Policing

13 April 2018

With recent heightened interest in policing and budgets, I am outlining what I have maintained and protected in the Hampshire Constabulary Policing area despite tight budgets.

My focus remains on delivering my promise to keep people SAFER, individuals, their families and their communities.

I want to reassure residents of the Hampshire Constabulary Policing area that I am doing everything within my power to support victims, protect the vulnerable, and empower operationally effective policing.

I continue to invest 98.3% of my total budget in policing, but am fiercely protective of the value of the relatively small amount supporting interventions beyond policing for the benefit of communities and individuals – as well as the reduction that they make to demand on policing.

 

Despite tight budgets, I have:

  • Recognised the risks to frontline officers: Approved a commitment from reserves (up to £800,000 with further yearly costs of £160,000) to increase the numbers of Tasers in response to frontline officers’ requests & delivering improved effectiveness.
  • Recognised the risks to front line officers: Approved the provision of spit hoods at a cost of over £9,000 to enhance their protection from assault in the course of their duty.
  • Enhanced safety against greatest risks: Increased the number of armed response officers at an additional cost of £800,000 per annum.
  • Improved operational effectiveness through technology: Funded the ongoing roll out of mobile technology at a cost of £1,600,000 to all Response & Patrol teams, and encouraged the Chief Constable to consider further opportunities for other police teams (further funds available from reserves allocated this year).
  • Improved operational effectiveness through technology: Provided strategic funding for a new Contact Management Platform (approx. £30m in partnership with TVP, Hampshire’s contribution in the region of almost £14m including Police Innovation Fund bid) to provide a more efficient service for the public, but also for all officers and staff, estimated to save 20% of a police officer’s time.
  • Responded to Community Priorities: Insisted on the protection of the marine unit at a cost of £557,000 until a more cost effective partnered solution can be developed.
  • Released Additional Police to the front line & Enhanced Police Support: Invested in the police estate returning £2,000,000 per annum to the budget for 2020, whilst improving public, partner and policing support.”

 

My area continues to be underfunded by the National Funding Formula (2/3 of the funding available).

But the welcome option of a £12 increase to the local precept has protected policing services from additional cuts that would otherwise have been necessary to stay within budget.  This increase has also allowed a balanced budget to be set for next year 2019/20 to mitigate a shortfall that would otherwise have applied.

This creates a sustainable policing environment to allow further efficiencies to be made and, importantly, other changes to deliver enhanced operational effectiveness.  This ‘Enabling of Effective Operational Policing’ is a key priority in my Plan and the Constabulary’s performance, as one of only 12 forces that are rated GOOD across each of the PEEL areas for inspection, demonstrates that the Chief Constable and her Team are appropriately supported within the budget constraints that apply.