Sir Geoffrey Clifton-BrownMain Page: Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative) - The Cotswolds)
Department Debates - View all Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown's debates with the Home Office
I think I am right in saying that recorded crime in the Thames valley is lower than in 2010, but that is not a cause for complacency. I recognise some of the problems that towns around London like Slough and, indeed, Andover in my constituency have experienced, much of it driven by the drugs trade. The hon. Gentleman will know that we have done a huge amount of work, and will be doing more, on the county lines problem that drives a significant amount of violence in towns like his. He will be hearing more from me on that in the future.
As I am sure my hon. Friend knows, money for policing is shared out on the basis of a funding formula. I have studied the formula in some depth, and it is incredibly complicated and hard to understand. He is therefore right to raise the issue of confusion in the public’s mind about how money is allocated.
We have already said publicly that we believe the funding formula is outdated, and I hope and believe that, in the years to come, we can work to find a more equitable division of the spoils for policing and, critically, one that the people we serve understand.
This settlement sets out the biggest increase in police funding in a decade. This £700 million will pay for the recruitment of the first 6,000 of the 20,000 additional police officers, an increase of almost 10% of the core grant funding provided last year. Overall funding for police and crime commissioners will increase by £915 million to £13.1 billion if they make full use of the council tax flexibility available to them. Total police funding will increase by £1.1 billion to £15.2 billion.
Every single force in England and Wales will see a substantial increase next year. If their police and crime commissioner decides to maximise precept flexibility, Durham will receive an extra £9.7 million, Lancashire will receive an extra £22.6 million and the west midlands will receive almost £50 million more. These are serious increases, representing, on average, a 7.5% rise.