Opinion Former Article

Police Superindendents Association of England and Wales: Spending cuts

Responding to the announcement of £125 million spending cuts for the Police Service, the President of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, Chief Superintendent Derek Barnett, said: "These spending cuts are no surprise. The Chancellor had made it clear that all public services will be expected to contribute to the overall reduction in public spending and the Police Service cannot be exempted from this.

'The cuts announced today will require Chief Constables and Police Authorities to make some difficult decisions, but overall they amount to approximately 1% of police force spending and I am confident that with the engagement of our members and other staff associations we will be able to implement the cuts without affecting front line services. However, we do need to recognise that any future reductions in spending will inevitably begin to impact upon the delivery of policing to the communities we serve and there will be difficult decisions ahead.

'The Coalition have now outlined their Programme for Government and the PSAEW welcomes the clarity that this now brings to the direction the Government intends to take in relation to policing and criminal justice. I welcome several of the measures, including the review of sentencing, the publication of local crime information, better reporting of hate crimes and the support for the introduction of restorative justice. However, there are some key areas where I would wish to see greater clarity, including the potential impact that may occur, for example, in the reduction of support for road safety technology, the application of health and safety legislation within policing and the granting of anonymity to defendants in rape cases, and the reviews of DNA and CCTV.

'We will seek an early meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss Home Office plans to review police officer terms of employment and the wider issues of pay and pensions. The PSAEW has consistently expressed concerns about the proposal to introduce directly elected police commissioners. We note the Government intention to continue with this idea and my Association will want to engage with the Home Office to explore options that will retain the fundamental elements of local accountability and operational independence.'

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