Daily Archives: 22/11/2017

“Autumn Budget must set clear direction for police funding” asserts Police Federation chairman

Amid all the talk and speculation on what will be contained in today’s Autumn Budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond must set clear direction for police funding to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to keep the public safe. This is the view of Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who believes the current year-by-year approach to police budgets is inefficient and gives Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and chief constables little ability to effectively plan ahead.

“Chiefs and PCCs need to know what they’re going to get, not just next year, but in years two, three, four and five in order for them to properly plan,” said White. “The Government is already clear that policing needs to be even more efficient, but reform with at least a five-year funding strategy is needed for it to be sustainable.”

White echoed many in policing who have challenged the Government’s view that police budgets have been ‘protected’ between 2015 and 2020. “It’s all very well for politicians to say that funding is being protected, but the reality is there for all to see,” urged White. “The amount of money that police forces have to play with has gone down because inflation has gone up. It’s simple maths.”

The Police Federation’s chairman also challenged the idea that forces can simply tap in to reserves to plug the gap following recent comments made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Joint Summit.

Steve White

Steve White: chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales

“Of course forces have to keep something in reserve because they don’t know what’s around the corner or coming down the line in the next 12 months.”

However, White does appreciate the need for chief constables and PCCs to make clear to Government how additional funding would be spent, not just why it’s required. “There’s an opportunity for police leaders to provide a credible, evidence -based argument about why these additional resources are needed and where they would go.”

Finally, White made clear that PCCs, alongside chief constables, must challenge the Government for clear direction on police funding if it’s not forthcoming.

“If the Chancellor doesn’t set out any clear direction for police funding, PCCs and chief constables must put the pressure on Government to address this in the immediacy. If this doesn’t happen, officers and police staff will suffer with continued uncertainty and, ultimately, the public will suffer as well.”

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Brits “too scared” to attend events in wake of heightened security risks

Four-in-ten people now fear for their safety at public events like music concerts and Christmas markets in the wake of recent terror attacks, new research has found. A report produced by ATG Access states that these worries are so high for some people it’s actively preventing them from attending public events altogether.

29% of the public said they now will not go to large events taking place in the UK due to concerns around the levels of security in place. Two-fifths (41%) of individuals also said they’ll not attend events if they think they will be overcrowded through fear that it would be harder to leave if an incident was to occur.

Residents in London and the West Midlands are most worried about event safety, with 46% of people in each region expressing this concern. Overriding worries are also echoed in the North West (42%), where attacks have recently taken place, and in Northern Ireland (41%) and Scotland (37%).

Concerns around overcrowding are at the highest in the East Midlands (57%), followed by London (46%), the South East (46%), Wales (44%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (40%).

ATGAccessEventSecurityReport

The study was conducted as part of ATG Access’ ‘Protecting the Future of Multifunctional Cities’ report, which looks at how cities in the UK are being transformed into bustling multi-functional spaces, and the obstacles that are preventing public events from taking place.

Gavin Hepburn, sales and marketing director at ATG Access, said: “While there are numerous benefits to hosting events, there are of course some concerns that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, the worries around security come as little surprise given the increased number of terrorist attacks we’ve seen on our streets over recent years, with busy areas and tourist attractions often being the targets. Reservations around overcrowding are also connected to this, due to the increased difficulties of monitoring hundreds, if not thousands of people in one busy area at the same time.”

Hepburn continued: “These worries must be considered by event organisers when planning out the venue, entrance points and layout of the location to make sure that visitors can enjoy the event comfortably. Robust security measures should be put in place at all major events to mitigate against potential attacks and create a greater sense of safety for visitors. This could be through deploying more security personnel on the ground or installing physical security solutions, such as bollards or barriers.”

In conclusion, Hepburn told Risk UK: “Ultimately, if people don’t feel safe at events then they may choose not to attend. This would prevent cities and towns from developing into truly multifunctional spaces that can be used by all. It’s up to the Government to do all it can to make public places safer and deter future incidents from happening. Event organisations must also make sure that security is as robust as it can be such that the public can continue to enjoy organised events and activities in their local area.”

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