As Police and Crime Commissioner, I receive all funding relating to policing in Surrey, via government grants and through the local council tax precept. We are facing a challenging financial environment ahead with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the prospect of higher inflation and energy costs on the horizon.
It is my role to set a revenue and capital budget for Surrey Police and determine the level of council tax raised to fund policing. For 2021/22, a gross revenue budget of £261.70m has been set for both my office and services and Surrey Police. Only 46% of this is funded by Central Government as Surrey has one of the lowest levels of grant funding per head in the country. The remining 54% is funded by local residents through their council tax, which currently stands at £285.57 a year for a Band D property.
Staffing costs represent over 86% of the total budget with premises, equipment and transport making up a good part of the remainder. For 2021/22 my office had a total gross budget of almost £4.2m of which £3.1m is used to commission services to support victims and witnesses and promote community safety. My staff have also been particularly successful in securing additional funds during the year for initiatives such as Safer Streets and will continue to pursue these opportunities as they arise. Of the £1.1m remaining, £150k is required for audit services, leaving £950k to fund staffing, my own costs and the costs of running my office.
I am currently working with the Chief Constable to consider funding for next year and future years of this Plan and will be consulting with residents later in the year. I am also robustly scrutinising Surrey Police’s plans for making savings and ensuring they operate efficiently. I will also campaign nationally for the Force to get its fair share of government grants and for a review of the current funding formula.
Surrey Police should have the people, estates, technology and skills it requires to police the county in the most effective and efficient way possible. Our residents are in the unenviable position of paying the highest proportion of local policing costs in the country. I therefore want to use this money wisely and efficiently and ensure we give them the very best value from their local police service. We will do this by having the right staff in place, securing fair funding for Surrey Police, planning for future demands and ensuring we operate as efficiently as possible.
I will support the Chief Constable to makes sure that we can:
- Attract the very best people into policing, with the right skills and from a diverse range of backgrounds that represent the communities we police
- Ensure our officers and staff have the skills, training and experience they need in order to flourish and provide and the right equipment to do their jobs effectively, efficiently and professionally
- Ensure that our increased officer resources are used to the best effect – aligned to policing demand and to those areas of priority that are identified in this Plan
Resources for Surrey
I will aim to get fair funding for Surrey Police by:
- Ensuring Surrey’s voice is heard at the highest levels in government. I will seek to work with Ministers to address the inequalities in the funding formula that results in Surrey receiving amongst the lowest level of government funding per head in the country
- Continuing to pursue grants to enable investment in crime prevention and support for victims which are vital to making residents feel safer
Planning for the future
I will work with the Chief Constable to address future policing needs by:
• Delivering new estate facilities that are fit for the future, reduce our carbon footprint and meet the Force’s needs but
also are deliverable and affordable
• Ensuring that Surrey Police exploits the best of technology to enable it to improve its services, be a modern police
service and to deliver efficiencies
• Meeting the commitment to being carbon neutral by effective planning, managing the police fleet and working with
I will work with the Chief Constable to improve efficiency within Surrey Police by:
- Making better use of technology to ensure that more money can be allocated to the operational policing that residents want
- Building on the existing arrangements already in place within Surrey Police where collaboration with other forces can deliver a clear operational or financial benefit
Efficiency in the Criminal Justice System
I will work with the Chief Constable to improve efficiency in the criminal justice system by:
- Ensuring that the evidence submitted to the courts by Surrey Police is both timely and of high quality
- Working with the criminal justice system to address the backlogs and delays that were intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing additional stress and trauma to those who are all too often at their most vulnerable
- Working with partners to influence an efficient and effective justice system that works for victims and does more to tackle the root causes of offending
Independent Custody Visitors provide valuable independent oversight of the care that is provided when an individual is detained.
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