PCC responds to Home Office annoucement on officer allocation

Merseyside / October 09

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has commented on the government’s allocation of the additional police officers it originally announced in July.

Merseyside Police has been allocated 200 (3.3%) out of the initial tranche of 6,000 officers from the Home Office.

It is the first part of the government’s wider promise of 20,000 officers over the next three years.

Based on the first year’s allocation, the force is expecting 660 out of the total 20,000 officers.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “I welcome the announcement of 200 extra officers for Merseyside as a starting point this year.

“However, since 2010, Merseyside Police has lost 1,120 officers. If the Government follow through with this investment, we might be allocated a total of 660 officers over the next three years. This is a long way short of the number of officers that have been lost in the last decade.

“The funding formula used is the same one applied to the government grant to police budgets. It is notoriously unfair to metropolitan police forces like Merseyside.

“It means that the allocation of new officers is weighted towards shire counties, for example Surrey, one of the UK’s most affluent counties, will receive an allocation of 78 this year; a surprise given the county lost only eight officer posts in 10 years of austerity. They will have significantly more officers than the county requires, whereas Merseyside will have significantly less.

“This cannot be right and more attention needs to be paid to allocations based on the assessment of threat, harm and general risk faced in any given police area for the remaining two years of this proposed investment.

“I also want to see a commitment from the government to fully fund pay rises during this three year period. Failure to do so will leave Merseyside short changed as posts would have to be deleted to pay for it.”