Funding will help the force to hold front line

This Is Wiltshire: Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson

POLICE staffing levels are holding at just over 1,000 bobbies on the beat as new funding help the force provide improved services.

Half a million pounds from central government, in addition to a two per cent increase in the police precept in council tax, will go towards defending the frontline and funding new victim support services.

Following drastic cuts in funding over the last four years, the number of active officers in the county is now estimated at 1,018, barely more than the bottom line to maintain service.

The numbers are being bolstered by the recruitment of special constables across all sectors, with a target of 300 being set, along with 138 community support officers currently active.

Kieran Kilgallen, chief executive of the police and crime commissioner’s office in Wiltshire, said there is a minimum number of officers at which the force can operate.

“We are putting down a steady state of 1,000 officers across Wiltshire,” he said.

“We think that any number less than that would not be viable.

“Since 2010 police officer numbers have dropped by 13 per cent, but support staff have taken the biggest hit as their numbers have fallen by 19 per cent.

“We anticipate a total reduction in grants to Wiltshire of £17m, or 23 per cent, by 2016. The total funding gap as a result will be £12m. Additionally, the element of funding in council tax has been frozen since 2010. It has been possible to maintain a service because of freeze grants in each of those three years.

“However, in two to four years time further grants will be removed in one way or another. Wiltshire and Swindon has the lowest precept of any region in the south west, and the third lowest nationally, and are performing very well in consideration of that.”

In April the precept for Wiltshire and Swindon rose by two per cent, the first increase in four years, and will generate around £340,000 for the force.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said the force plans to remain debt-free while tackling funding cuts.

“I anticipate further reduction of central funds in future years,” he said. “However, through maintaining an annual contribution to capital spend requirements, I have been able to finance capital improvements without recourse to borrowing. My office remains debt free, and I have no plans to sanction borrowing by the Chief Constable.

“On 31 March the Chief Constable became a corporate entity in his own right. Whilst all properties and contracts remain vested in me, the Chief Constable became the employer of staff transferred to him under the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

“Essentially, all operational officers and staff are on his books, together with many of the back office staff.

“I have retained finance and communications staff as part of a joint team providing back office services to both offices within the policing and crime sphere. I am responsible for the group accounts, given that all financial resource comes to my office for the commissioning of police and other crime-related services.”

Comments (6)

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9:48am Sat 30 Aug 14

Hmmmf says...

Adver wrote:
bobbies on the beat

What a quaint and archaic phrase that is. It's making me all nostalgic for the good old days when England used to swing like a pendulum do.
[quote][p][bold]Adver[/bold] wrote: bobbies on the beat[/quote] What a quaint and archaic phrase that is. It's making me all nostalgic for the good old days when England used to swing like a pendulum do. Hmmmf
  • Score: 0

10:13am Sat 30 Aug 14

House with no name says...

1,000 fully trained Police Officers patrolling our Streets - I don't think so!
1,000 fully trained Police Officers patrolling our Streets - I don't think so! House with no name
  • Score: 0

10:30am Sat 30 Aug 14

House with no name says...

Is it me or is everyone reorganising and taking on less and less responsibilities and making up roles with fancy names and probably costing millions from different budgets.

Are all these reorganisations distracting (both financially and in staffing) from what the Police nationwide should be doing - No wonder morale is so very low.

It seems to me that most traditional responsibilities of the Police have been off loaded to other agencies such as the now all powerful local authorities who are now responsible for anti social behaviour, Public Houses, Motorway Patrol, stray dogs etc etc etc

Not so long ago I read about the sad case of Swans being shot in the Lawns Park - the report in this paper also stated the Police off loaded responsibility to the RSPCA to investigate - The RSPCA is a charity which receives millions of pounds in charitable donations and do not have the investigative expertise or access to databases that the Police do, I can only imagine the outcome of that 'investigation'.

It appears to many of us that the Police now generally only undertake historic sexual abuse allegations, so called domestic abuse and of course the real soft target of the motorist - not forgetting handing out crime numbers to those subject of crime.
Is it me or is everyone reorganising and taking on less and less responsibilities and making up roles with fancy names and probably costing millions from different budgets. Are all these reorganisations distracting (both financially and in staffing) from what the Police nationwide should be doing - No wonder morale is so very low. It seems to me that most traditional responsibilities of the Police have been off loaded to other agencies such as the now all powerful local authorities who are now responsible for anti social behaviour, Public Houses, Motorway Patrol, stray dogs etc etc etc Not so long ago I read about the sad case of Swans being shot in the Lawns Park - the report in this paper also stated the Police off loaded responsibility to the RSPCA to investigate - The RSPCA is a charity which receives millions of pounds in charitable donations and do not have the investigative expertise or access to databases that the Police do, I can only imagine the outcome of that 'investigation'. It appears to many of us that the Police now generally only undertake historic sexual abuse allegations, so called domestic abuse and of course the real soft target of the motorist - not forgetting handing out crime numbers to those subject of crime. House with no name
  • Score: -1

10:34am Sat 30 Aug 14

House with no name says...

Didn't read it before posting - Motorway Patrol is of course the responsibility of the Highways Agency before anyone comments :-)
Didn't read it before posting - Motorway Patrol is of course the responsibility of the Highways Agency before anyone comments :-) House with no name
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Sat 30 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their time is actually on the beat and how much is pen pushing all that red tape. But like everything else, if you want better policing it has to be paid for, so if you don't want you taxes to go up where exactly do you think the money will be coming from?
It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their time is actually on the beat and how much is pen pushing all that red tape. But like everything else, if you want better policing it has to be paid for, so if you don't want you taxes to go up where exactly do you think the money will be coming from? house on the hill
  • Score: -1

5:57pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Hmmmf says...

house on the hill wrote:
It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their time is actually on the beat and how much is pen pushing all that red tape. But like everything else, if you want better policing it has to be paid for, so if you don't want you taxes to go up where exactly do you think the money will be coming from?

According to Swindon commander Andrew Carr, social media now makes up more than half the work of a frontline officer. http://goo.gl/9XM4uR

The money for effective policing doesn't have to come from increased taxes. That's just an excuse for doing nothing. It could come from any number of expensive and ultimately worthless schemes, including the annual £70k wasted on an ineffectual Crime Commissioner, and the £1 million budget he doles out to such innovative 'crime fighting' schemes as support groups for sex offenders and mobile youth clubs. If so much wasn't wasted on junk, essential services wouldn't have needed budget cuts in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their time is actually on the beat and how much is pen pushing all that red tape. But like everything else, if you want better policing it has to be paid for, so if you don't want you taxes to go up where exactly do you think the money will be coming from?[/quote] According to Swindon commander Andrew Carr, social media now makes up more than half the work of a frontline officer. http://goo.gl/9XM4uR The money for effective policing doesn't have to come from increased taxes. That's just an excuse for doing nothing. It could come from any number of expensive and ultimately worthless schemes, including the annual £70k wasted on an ineffectual Crime Commissioner, and the £1 million budget he doles out to such innovative 'crime fighting' schemes as support groups for sex offenders and mobile youth clubs. If so much wasn't wasted on junk, essential services wouldn't have needed budget cuts in the first place. Hmmmf
  • Score: 3
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