The Police Chiefs' Blog
Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Police funding: do we have the resources we need?
Cmdr Matt Twist: Use of force data is a great step forward for for transparency
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council July 2017
Blog: CC Sara Thornton - We need to talk about wellbeing in policing
CC Dave Thompson blog: Policing funding - what do we need to tackle the threats
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council April 2017
ACC Mark Roberts blog: We all have the same aim - a safe and enjoyable World Cup
NPCC Questions and Answers on Conducted Energy Devices (aka Taser)
CC Simon Cole Blog: Uniform that's uniform! February 2017
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council January 2017
CC Stephen Kavanagh Blog: Our world has gone digital January 2017
DCC Louisa Rolfe Blog: Coercive control can affect anyone. December 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council October 2016
DAC Helen Ball Blog: Reflections on 'Look Outs'. October 2016
Sara Thornton Blog: It's time for a sharing economy in policing. October 2016
CC Simon Bailey: We have to intervene earlier to stop child abuse. August 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council July 2016
Mark Rowley blog: Communities defeat terrorism - 3639 times a day, 1 August 2016
CC Sara Thornton blog - Unity & respect needed, not hate crime. June 2016
Cmdr Simon Bray Blog: Legal highs? Not as legal as you thought – 26 May 2016
CC Jane Sawyers Blog: International Day Against Homophobia - 17 May 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council April 2016
CC Simon Cole Blog: Prevent - 21 April 2016
Police Chiefs Blogs: International Women's Day - 8 March 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council January 2016
Sara Thornton Blog: Christmas greeting - Dec 2015
Sara Thornton Blog: Police budgets, reform & specialist capabilities - Dec 2015
Steve Kavanagh Blog: Policing the digital age - December 02 2015
Adrian Leppard: Fraud and Cyber-crime: What's being done? October 15 2015
Sexting, young people and the police: Working towards a common-sense solution
Sara Thornton Blog: Investigating burglary will always be a priority - Aug 2015
Police Chiefs' Blog: Sara Thornton, Chief Constables Council July 2015
A future for local policing - Blog by CC Simon Cole, NPCC Lead on Local Policing
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 8 July 2015
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh: We have to think digital, 11 June 2015
CC Jane Sawyers: International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), 15 May 2015
Martin Hewitt: Building on the success of the Not Guilty campaign, 11 May 2015
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 3 March 2015
Shaun Sawyer: Smashing the bonds of modern slavery remains a policing priority
Pat Geenty: Take care of yourself and your property this Christmas, 12 Dec 2014
Commander Chris Greany: My first eight weeks
Simon Cole: Police seek more reports of disability hate crime
Commander Chris Greany - New Head of NPoCC, 23 September 2014
Police And Communities Working Together To End FGM, 3rd July 2014
Gareth Pritchard - Changes to dangerous dogs legislation - 16 May 2014
Francis Habgood - Building trust in crime recording, 14 April 2014
Autism Society - Autism awareness can improve police practice, 2 April 2014
ACPO President on our FOI Disclosure Log publication, 21 February 2014
The Future of ACPO - A blog by our President, Sir Hugh Orde, 17 Jan 2014
Simon Bray - Understanding the impact of new psychoactive substances,17 Jan 2014
Guest Blog, Paul Burstow MP - Policing and mental health,12 December 2013
Martin Hewitt - Rape discussion provokes strong feelings, 2 December 2013
Suzette Davenport - Drink and drug drivers, 2 December 2013
Mick Creedon - Fighting serious organised crime, 18 November 2013
Andy Marsh - Firearms licence-holders are no cash cows, 1 November 2013
Simon Chesterman – Police use of Taser and training, 12 July 2013
Julian Blazeby - Police use of automatic number plate recognition, 18 June 2013
Pat Geenty - Improving the police response to missing people, 24 May 2013
Adrian Lee - Police commitment to tackling alcohol harm, 15 May 2013
Andy Trotter - Secret Justice, 30 April 2013
Garry Shewan - Stalking. Know the law, use the law, 18 April, 2013
International Women's Day - Women in Policing, 8 March 2013
A word from ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde - 22 February 2013
A word from ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde - 25 January 2013
Martin Hewitt - Adult Sex Offences, 17 December 2012
David Whatton - Violence against women and girls, 4 December 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 15 November 2012
Simon Cole- Policing and Dementia, 8 November 2012
Dave Thompson - Police work to tackle gun crime on our streets, 30 October 2012
Sara Thornton - Authorised Professional Practice, 22 October 2012
Alex Marshall - Drones, 9 October 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 25 September 2012
Andy Marsh - changes to firearms licensing, 18 September 2012
Simon Cole - disability hate crime, 10 September 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 14 August 2012
Ian Learmonth - The riots one year on, 7 Aug 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 20 July 2012
Alex Marshall - PCCs, 10 July 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 26 June 2012
Nigel Brook - Budget cuts, 22 June 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 10 May 2012
Simon Cole - Local policing and partnerships, 4 May 2012
Nigel Brook - Police Finance and Resources, 12 April 2012
Peter Fahy - Winsor Part Two, 30 March 2012
Gareth Pritchard - Policing dangerous dogs, 27 March 2012
David Whatton - Investigating rape, 8 March 2012
Dave Thompson - Renewed focus upon gangs is welcomed by the police, 8 Feb 2012
Simon Byrne outlines the benefits of ANPR technology, 7 February 2012
Simon Cole - Responding to mental ill-health and disability, 17 January 2012
Ian Dyson - The new police 101 non emergency number, 11 January 2012
Andy Adams - Custody Matters, 28 November 2011
Rob Beckley - 'Big Society' and volunteering, 17 November 2011
Simon Byrne - Policing prostitution and sexual exploitation, 2 November 2011
Tim Hollis: Policing Drugs in Austerity - Adjusting to the challenge,12 October 2011
Olivia Pinkney: Policing the exploitation of labour, 26 September 2011
Tim Hollis: Reflections on Disorder, 12 September 2011
Sir Hugh Orde: Tension between politicians and police is healthy
Sara Thornton: Providing the best leaders, 29 July 2011
Phil Gormley: Recovery of vehicles - the truth, 28 June 2011
John Feavyour: Police complaints and improving public service, 23 June 2011
Sir Norman Bettison: Prevent Review, 7 June 2011
Janet Williams: Policing cyberspace, 9 May 2011
Mark Rowley: Surrey Police, bureaucracy and the frontline, 15 April 2011
Chris Sims: Frontline Policing, 11 April 2011
Graeme Gerrard: CCTV surveillance, 3 March 2011
Garry Shewan: Stalking and harassment, 10 February 2011
Sir Hugh Orde: A new direction, 26 January 2011
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CC Dave Thompson blog: Policing funding – what do we need to tackle the threats

Dave Thompson4

In 1974 my predecessor as West Midlands Chief Constable, Sir Derrick Capper, faced a sustained UK IRA bombing campaign with 6,842 police officers. Forty years later and after a horrific series of attacks in London and Manchester, I face a modern terror threat with 6,600 officers – a number that has already fallen by close to 2,000 and is set to fall further.

Numbers, of course, do not tell the full story.Today we have the advantage of different powers, tactics and technology. We have specialist police staff and PCSOs. But we also have a much wider mission, from tackling anti-social behaviour to cyber-crime; acting as the service of last resort for people who have fallen through the gaps of other services. Our population is larger and more diverse with digital technology underpinning daily life. In this context, the fall of 20,000 officers across the country is an important part of the equation.

The government has already increased spending on counter terrorism, part-funded increases in firearms officers and given policing flat cash protection from 2015. However, countering terrorism is predicated on dedicated counter terrorism resources fitting into a broader police service. The firearms commanders, casualty bureau, custody staff, body recovery teams and uniformed officers patrolling crowded spaces that are so central to preventing and responding to a terror attack are paid for by core police funding. Over two thirds of the policing effort after the Westminster attack was not counter-terrorism funded. This figure will be much higher following the Manchester attack.

The current flat cash settlement for policing means force budgets will fall in real terms. We are guaranteed a shrinking government grant each year, which can only keep up with 2015 levels if police and crime commissioners increase local taxation to the maximum. Taking into account inflation and cost pressures there will be less money every year for forces on top of real terms cuts of 18 per cent since 2010. Many forces are now using considerable reserves to maintain current staff numbers, which when spent will see numbers falling even further.

If we are to sustain the protection citizens want and need, police leaders need to continue to reform, look hard at what needs to be done differently,and be bold and innovative in rising to the challenge. But we also need to work constructively with the new government on what is needed from police funding to tackle the threats we face.With lots of discussion about police funding and officer numbers in recent days and in the election campaign, I wanted to set out the three key areas that we think will make a real difference.

Firstly, the funding forces receive needs to be stabilised with real terms protection for policing as a whole. Last year we saw the prison service snap under pressure with riots in Birmingham Prison. We cannot afford this to happen to policing but the strain is showing from recent weeks and we’d have real challenges in dealing with something like the 2011 riots again. When things break recovery is never quick, and in policing it takes considerable time to recruit and train staff.

Secondly, the money we have can be spent more effectively. Chiefs and PCCs are working together to change the way we deliver forensics, armed policing, surveillance and major investigations; making them more affordable and effective with surplus costs available to reinvest in other priorities. We need continued support from the government to drive through changes like this. It’s also time to ask why a growing proportion of the police budget is being allocated to managing complaints or to non-policing at a time when our core role is under strain.

Thirdly, targeted increases in government spending will help us tackle the threats we face. Government is already supporting work to enhance our ability to exploit the digital world to keep people safe; more investment will be needed with a growing cyber threat. Counter terrorism policing is stretched and is in no place to deliver efficiency savings. We will also need to think very carefully about the need for enhanced protection for our officers who run towards the terrorists.

However, the answer cannot simply be to do more in the shadows or be better armed. A significant cohort of those influenced by extremist views live in communities where public services have a legitimacy deficit. Visible, accessible policing cannot afford to shrink further. Police leaders value local neighbourhood policing so strongly, not from a dewy-eyed, sentimental yearning for the past but because it helps us gather intelligence, prevent harm and build public trust. A service that is not meeting the needs of local people is not likely to win their trust or assure them of their safety. Without investment or protection this time-served feature of policing will disappear at huge cost to our nation’s security.

The attacks in London and Manchester show we have a police service whose officers have shown incredible bravery defending the public. In the past few weeks, people have demonstrated a huge affection for the work of policing, recognising our officers are unquestionably the frontline of our nation’s security. It is time for police leaders to work with our new government and make the case for realistic investments in our service at this critical time.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Finance, Chief Constable Dave Thompson