Growing the local

Police and Crime Commissioners, in consultation with their Chief Constables, are responsible for how funding is allocated to policing and to cutting crime. They also have a responsibility to hold the police to account on behalf of the public. As the Government’s flagship policing reform, the crucial next step is giving PCCs greater control over the level of funding raised locally, through the police precept. Ensuring local areas have the freedom to set and adjust taxation form part of the recommendations set out by the CSJ in our recent The Great British Breakthrough report.1 While capping local taxation has been shown to be necessary in the past, the current level of cap is holding back the potential for PCCs to make investments in evidence-based early interventions that can improve community safety and cut crime. For many, this lack of flexibility is also impacting on the delivery of proactive policing. Now is an opportune time for Government to move towards enabling PCCs to invest in programmes and resources that go beyond simply reacting to crime and growing demands, and move into more preventative and proactive efforts to improve community safety. Proactive and preventative investment is vital to public safety, whether by changing lives and reducing unnecessary pressure on the criminal justice system, or by helping protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by preventing crime or pursuing offenders. Enabling PCCs to raise funds locally to make these investments should be the next step for Government and one that will help ensure PCCs and their Chiefs have more freedom to act on local priorities and to fight crime.

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