Police Funding Formula

Home Department – in the House of Commons am ar 27 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Ceidwadwyr, Waveney

What progress his Department has made on reviewing the police funding formula.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. He is a tireless campaigner on this issue. I completely accept the need for a new police funding formula. We have been working on it extremely hard, with colleagues across government. I hope to have something further to say on the topic shortly, but in the meantime we are getting as much money as we can to frontline policing. This year, we have an extra £550 million going to frontline policing and £330 million going to support the police pay rise, which makes £880 million extra for policing this year.

Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Ceidwadwyr, Waveney

I am most grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. Nevertheless, it is concerning that Suffolk police were promised draft proposals for the review back in January. I urge him to get those to our local force as quickly as possible and, in the meantime, to work with it to improve the number of out-of-court disposals, where better delivery will relieve pressure on those in the force, who are working incredibly hard.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

They are indeed working incredibly hard. I am delighted to tell the House that Suffolk police currently have 1,425 officers, which is more than at any time in their history, and they have that in common with England and Wales as a whole. I support what my hon. Friend said about out-of-court disposals, which have an important role to play, particularly in treating drug and alcohol addiction, and mental health issues. I will work with Suffolk and other forces to make sure that those are widely used.

Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Llafur, Bradford East

Since 2010, neighbourhood policing, where officers are embedded in local communities, has been decimated, despite its huge advantages. We therefore desperately need the repeatedly promised reform of the police funding formula. However, one of the quickest ways in which the Government can get cash to police forces for neighbourhood policing is by reforming the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 rules so that more of the money is handed to the police forces that confiscated it. Will the Minister meet me to discuss the matter further?

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

I would be happy to discuss POCA with the hon. Gentleman and other colleagues. However, there is something of a definitional confusion on this question about neighbourhood policing, because there are local police officers who work on response teams and should be counted as well. In 2015, the year the Opposition keep referring to, there were 61,083 officers in local policing roles, whereas there are now 67,785. That is a much higher number, and overall we have a record number of officers across England and Wales—149,566. That is more than there ever were under the last Labour Government.

Several hon. Members: