Michael Lane’s response to the Queen’s Speech

21 June 2017

“The Queen’s Speech today has helpfully and appropriately identified priorities of the new Government that impact on the remit of a Police and Crime Commissioner, including Counter Terrorism, Policing Powers, Regulation of Cyber Space, Countering Extremism, Domestic Violence & Abuse and Mental Health. I support these as priorities.

“But I am clear that these areas need also to sit alongside the volume of broader policing that keeps us all safer through local policing, specialist capabilities and national programmes that enable most effective and efficient delivery, consistently across the nation and where these are best led with a national perspective.

“The Prime Minister today repeated her determination to ‘protect Police budgets’.  This is very welcome.

“From my first day as Police and Crime Commissioner, I promised to serve all the people of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton to keep us SAFER.  This has included being the champion of appropriate resourcing from national funding, alongside local funding via Council Tax.

“I have always recognised that a fairer funding process for us all nationally would deliver greater and fairer resources in my Constabulary Area.  This view was informed by detailed briefing and analysis.  And my demand of the Chief Constable was that she reviewed her plan to ensure it kept us immediately safe and created space for a welcome Government review of the national Funding Formula, a formula that was nearly universally agreed to need significant updating to reflect a fair, equitable distribution of resources.

The case for my area was made on 12 January 2017. And the previous Government deserved great credit for the process run to review the National Funding Formula, which had cross-party support and was recognised for its professional and evidence based approach.

“The pause in this process, through the calling of a General Election and the formation of a new Government, makes this an appropriate time to review progress.

“It has been a busy, even frantic few months around our nation for communities, across all the levels of Government and for those with responsibilities to serve and support people through their public service.

“Recent events including acts of terror, criminal harm inflicted on innocent victims, and terrible tragedy as a result of fire, these have all had significant impact on so very many personally.  And all of us, I feel sure, have felt outrage alongside empathy and condolences for those affected and their communities.

“It has reminded us of vulnerabilities and risks that exist around us in our day to day lives.

“In the area I serve, we are fortunate to live in generally safe, prosperous and inclusive communities. We have skilled public servants, businesses and communities who create environments where we are free to realise our potential and life opportunities.

“But this does not apply to all. And my work as Police and Crime Commissioner, as for so many partners, is to seek to mitigate the challenges the vulnerable and less fortunate face.  And specifically to ensure and then appropriately reassure people that they are supported by a Constabulary empowered and resourced to protect our communities.

“This is not simple at a time of significant change, change that is essential to keep abreast of fast moving technologies and methods of those who are criminal or wish us harm.  Nor is this challenging environment made easier by stretch on resources of all sorts, including funding streams at a time of many competing priorities.  But this is not the first time when we have faced times of stretch and challenge nor I suspect the last.

“Because it is right so to do, I will continue to press for fair, appropriate and timely funding to ensure we have the resource necessary to keep us all SAFER.  I will be listening carefully for clues as to the new Government’s approach in the continuing debates planned for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.”