At a time when every force in the UK is struggling to maintain services and meet the demand for cost savings, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd has made it clear that they are wasting their time asking for more money.
Speaking at the Conference of Police Chiefs and Police & Crime Commissioners she said that there was enough fat in the system to accommodate further cuts and the £1.6bn of reserves held by police forces could be used to fund services.
Dashing hopes that additional funding would be included in this month's budget she said: "So when crime starts to go up, I don't just want to see you reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money from the government. I want you to tell your local communities and the victims in your area what your plan is to make them safer."
In response a member of her audience pointed out that police in England & Wales face a £350m per annum shortfall in funding and that current cash contributions from the government did not allow for inflation which is currently running at 3%.
There is no doubt that most forces have struggled to deliver the cuts demanded by government and are struggling even more to identify the future cuts. It seems that some measures border on the desperate like Norfolk Constabulary getting rid of all its PCSOs [see earlier story] and the Met declining to attend or investigate crimes that do not meet a minimum financial threshold of loss.
Business crime, which many erroneously see as being 'victimless', seems to be plummeting down the priority list in many areas. If you are worried about crime and anti-social behaviour in your area get in touch with the BCRP office on 01273 733393 to see how we can help.