Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Police have gone very quiet over their budget cuts! I wonder why?

Doom and gloom came from Cambridgeshire Police over dire budget cuts with there Medium Term Plan and then silence. I thought I would look to see why. The Police Formula Grant was announced by the Home Office back in December 2010. This give the formula grant allocated by the Home Office and DCLG over the next two years and the Home Office grant allocation for the two years after. DCLG has yet to publish their allocations for those years.

This means a total grant of £87.1 million for 2011/12 falling to £81.4 million in 2012/13. In the two years after the grant from the Home office stays pretty static.

With the Grants announced this rubbishes the Police Medium Term Plan. In the 2011/12 MTP the Police Authority were looking at a deficit of £4.774 million. With this formula grant they get an extra £2.321 million to spend.
So no real reason to put up Council Tax in 2011/12 or even in 2012/13.
Is this the case of the Police authority crying wolf? Well they did take a bunch of grant out of the MTP.
This allowed for the headlines about massive cuts and Armageddon. The Police and the Police Authority have really "cried wolf" on the cuts and altered the figures accordingly so their representatives could talk about £30 million of cuts. By overstating the loss of grant the Police and the Police Authority now have to inform the public why they have so much money!

All this doom and gloom over cuts and hyping those cuts out of all proportion makes for good headlines but in the end can we really trust the Police and what they tell us when the cuts are over-exaggerated.

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