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House of Commons Hansard
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Petitions
21 February 2019
Volume 654

Petition

Thursday 21 February 2019

Observations

Home Department

Funding of the Avon and Somerset police force

The petition of constituents of Bristol East constituency,

Declares that Avon and Somerset Police have already had to make £65 million of cuts since 2010, with the loss of nearly 700 front line police officers; and further that The Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable have now warned in their report “The Tipping Point” that the force cannot sustain any further cuts- as proposed by the Government—without extremely serious consequences.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to give Avon and Somerset Police the resources they need to police our streets, prevent crime and protect the public.

And the petitioners remain etc. —[Presented by Kerry McCarthy , Official Report, 5 December 2018; Vol. 650, c. 1026 .]

[P002302]

Observations from the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service (Mr Nick Hurd):

The report mentioned in this petition (“The Tipping Point: The case for a safe, sustainable and fair funding settlement for Avon and Somerset Constabulary”) was published in September 2017. In 2017 I engaged with every police force in England and Wales to understand the demands they face. In response the Government enabled Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to protect their funding in 2018-19 real terms including council tax precept. For Avon and Somerset, this meant an increase in funding of £8 million.

Next year, the Government are going further. We are enabling an increase in total police funding of up to £970 million compared to 2018-19, including precept, pensions funding and national investment. For 2019-20 the Avon and Somerset PCC will receive £302.9 million, an increase of £21.2 million on 2018-19 following the PCCs decision to use their precept flexibility.

Decisions about the number of police officers in Avon and Somerset and how they are deployed are matters for the Chief Constable and democratically accountable PCC. They are responsible for ensuring the needs of the local community are met. I am pleased, therefore, to note that the PCC has set out her intention to use the improved financial settlement for 2019-20 to recruit an additional 100 police officers.