The new Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that 20,000 new Police Officers will be recruited across the country has received a cautious welcome from Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg.
Hoggn noted that the number of Police Officers employed by Durham Constabulary has been reduced by nearly 400 since 2010 as a consequence of Government funding cuts. He said “we need Ministers to provide more detail about this. If the Government is going to replace Officers which the force lost as a result of austerity, then that is clearly something to be welcomed. I will be arguing to ensure that forces such as Durham receive a fair share of the new allocation, as soon as possible”.
Hogg added: “however, it’s crucially important that the funding for these new Officers comes direct from the Government rather than because Police and Crime Commissioners are given permission to raise the Council Tax precept. I have been put in a position in the past two years where I have had to ask the people of County Durham to pay the maximum increase just to maintain Officer numbers, and I don’t want to have to ask them for a greater increase this year”.
Hogg concluded: “Durham Constabulary has been rated as ‘outstanding’ for efficiency for the past four years by Government Inspectors. It is an extremely well-run force and any additional resources will be used sensibly, focusing on cutting crime, and giving priority to offenders which cause the most harm to society”.