Cambridgeshire Police Federation has thrown its weight behind demands for the introduction of multi-year financial settlements for policing rather than yearly funding announcements.
Calls for reform have been growing since the Government announced its settlement for 2022/23 for policing had gone up £1.1 billion from the previous 12-month period to a total of £16.9 billion.
But critics were quick to point out that the new deal fails to take into account any of the extra costs faced by Forces across the country and said policing would be better served by multi-year financial settlements which would help them with long-term planning.
Liz Groom, chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation, said: “The Police Federation is calling for multi-year financial settlements rather than these annual funding deals and that position has the full support of the Cambridgeshire branch.
“Forces have faced huge challenges in the last decade, first through the austerity years when lack of funding led to falling officer numbers at a time of increased demand, and more recently due to the pandemic when officers maintained policing services and took on the additional work of upholding the Government restrictions while clearly putting their own health at risk.
“The settlement figure for 2022/23 shows an increase of £1.1 billion but I can’t see how that is going to make a difference since so much is going to be taken up by forces meeting increased energy bills plus additional employer National Insurance contributions.
“Policing needs the right level of funding but it also needs to be able to rely on longer-term financial settlements so that forces can plan more effectively. Working year to year serves no one well, least of all the communities we serve.”
Police Federation national vice-chair Ché Donald is leading the calls for reform to the current funding model.
He said: “As the Government announces the 2022/23 funding settlement for policing, the Police Federation of England and Wales continues to call for a more sustainable multi-year settlement, rather than year upon year funding.
“The Government must consider a sustained multi-year funding settlement for policing, which will allow forces to make long-term strategic plans to respond to the changing nature of crime and support communities.
“The ability to plan past the next year will enable forces to achieve better procurement deals and to see overall costs come down.
“Without the ability to search for better deals due to the uncertainty of what is to come year after year, the 2022/23 marginal increase will get lost in the high day to day costs that forces are currently incurring.
“One-year financial settlements do not work and forces shouldn’t have to operate on a ‘hand-to-mouth’ basis.
“Over the last decade, the police service has been hit hard by budget cuts and it needs more than a one-year cash injection to put things right. What is desperately needed is long-term, genuine investment in policing.”