ACPO lead for performance management, Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, comments on the HMIC report.
“The police service must close a funding gap of £2.5 billion in today’s prices over the 4 year Comprehensive Spending Review period. Chief Officers have been preparing for these cuts and there are plans in place across all forces to address this huge challenge for the service.
“This report shows that during the first year of these cuts, we have been able to continue to reduce crime and increase public confidence in policing. Maintaining this performance will become more difficult as the period progresses. In a service where 80% of our budgets are spent on pay, we will continue to see reductions in police officer and police staff numbers across the country, and all forces will work very hard to mitigate the impact of such significant reductions in the number of our people.
“Chief Officers will continue to invest in areas where the threat to the public is greatest, though not always visible to the public; such as managing sex offenders and tacking serious crime. In other areas we are becoming more flexible in the way we deliver critical services such as neighbourhood policing, local response teams and investigative work, but we will also want to do all we can to retain those elements of British Policing that are most cherished by our communities.
“From November, locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners will want to have detailed conversations with chief officers and the public about what should be prioritised within the available resources. There is a determination among chief officers and across policing to continue to meet the challenge of delivering the best possible policing services to the public.”