Crime Commissioner insists budget freeze won’t halt police reforms

The Chancellor’s decision to freeze the police budget will not halt cost-saving reforms, according to Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement today saw him pledge not to make force’s across the country find additional savings.

Staffordshire Police had been working on an assumption that its funding would be cut by around a fifth.

Matthew Ellis

Matthew Ellis

But despite welcoming the news, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis insisted a programme of reform would continue.

“A year ago I made the assumptions of 20% reductions in Government funding for policing and community safety and we were broadly on track to meet the challenge.

“The news from the Chancellor provides financial respite but makes it even more important to continue our investment in technology that makes policing even more effective at a time of ever changing challenges.”

The Chancellor had come under pressure to protect the funding for police force’s in the wake of recent terrorism attacks in France.

Mr Ellis, however, insisted he did anticipate that some savings could still need to be found.

“More detail is needed as I do expect some reductions,” he said. “Clearly the scale of cuts we have already prepared for in Staffordshire hasn’t happened but we’ll continue with the ongoing reforms in partnership with Staffordshire Police to make sure public money is spent better and that a larger
proportion of it goes to frontline services.

“Spending public money wisely and effectively isn’t something to do only when money is short – it should be done all the time, no matter what the financial climate is.”

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