Durham police chief slams £13million cuts

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A POLICE chief has condemned the latest cuts to police budgets.

Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, has said that the latest announcement about reductions to the police budget means more financial challenges for Durham Constabulary.

The latest decision on funding from the Government means it must save more than £13million during the next three years.

He said: “At a time when the unemployment rate is 10 per cent in the North East, the Government has decided to further reduce the money allocated for local policing.

“Unfortunately, these grant reductions inevitably mean fewer officers and staff.

“Police budgets are constantly being squeezed meaning future years look very challenging.”

Mr Hogg has said despite the budget cuts, several institutions will benefit from top slice funding from the police settlement, including Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

He added: “I am deeply disappointed that top slicing funding ultimately means Forces such as Durham with low levels of council tax income will struggle the most.

“More money is being taken from forces to fund inspection bodies who come in and tell us what to do.

“This is money that could be better used delivering local policing services.

“Despite all this, I am determined to work with the Chief Constable and his staff to ensure that crime still remains below the national average.

“We will continue to focus on neighbourhood policing and working more efficiently with partners for the benefit of our communities.”