Our police are there to keep us safe and I was very pleased to see just before Christmas, that their funding was being increased by the government for the next financial year. The 2021 to 2022 funding package will mean an increase of up to £636 million on the current year, should police and crime commissioners take full advantage of police precept flexibility. This would take police funding up to £15.8 billion.
The 2021 to 2022 funding package will include over £400 million to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023 which is one of the Conservative government’s key pledges. This will build on the success of the first year of the recruitment campaign that has already delivered almost 6,000 additional police officers across the country.
Alongside getting more officers out on the street, the funding settlement will enable policing to tackle serious violence and increase the number of specialist officers tackling terrorism and serious organised crime, including child sexual abuse and drug trafficking. All of this is very welcome indeed.
Funding for Counter-Terrorism policing will total up to £914 million, including money for more armed police officers. In addition, Counter-Terrorism policing will also be receiving £32 million to establish a new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre to keep our country safe from a range of threats.
The government also recognises that during the coronavirus pandemic, huge demands have been made of the police, so it is welcome that they provided additional support throughout, including £30 million of funding to help forces step up COVID-19 enforcement activities in 2020 to 2021.
For Sussex Police, the additional funding will mean 121 additional officers and six extra officers for the Regional Organised Crime Unit. We have however already seen a significant policing increase as there are now 100 extra PCSOs in Sussex who are boosting the visible policing presence in our neighbourhoods.
We don’t know what will be asked of our police in the year ahead but if we can give them the support and resources they need to keep us safe, from whatever those threats may be, that can only be a good thing.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
6th January 2021