Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness has announced a multi-million pound investment package into the force, with efforts to get more police on the streets, new equipment and bigger cybercrime teams part of the project.
As part of her “force fit for the future” scheme, £4.7million will be pledged to hire officers to take the force above the national recruitment targets, ensuring a faster replacement of the 1,100 officers lost to Northumbria as a result of a decade of Government cuts.
This is on top of the £5million earmarked by Government for new officers.
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Ms McGuinness said the additional funding will help the force prevent violent crime, take on organised crime and antisocial behaviour and tackle ‘county line’ drugs gangs.
Around £3million will be used for more skills training and specialists staff alongside the complete overhaul of the force’s outdated IT system, helping it remain up to date and to respond to incidents.
The latest force budget also includes a £600,000 increase in the cyber-crime and fraud section.
This additional investment package comes on top of the day to day budget funds available to meet policing requirements
As part of those existing financial plans, the PCC will also be agreeing a £16 million investment package in vehicles and equipment, including body armour, body-worn video and Tasers.
The commissioner said: “These financial plans are the biggest investment in our force in a decade.
“We’ll have more specialists and more police on our streets with the equipment they need to keep us, and themselves, safe.”
The financial plans are part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy, which covers the spending assumptions for the next four years.
Investments for this year also include:
*Increasing investigative capability and capacity through a £700,000 boost
*Investment of £600,000 for digital forensics to effectively manage the increasing demands arising from investigations involving electronic devices and material held in digital format.
*Protecting and providing appropriate services with £400,000 for the most vulnerable members of our communities.