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The financial situation is better than we expected but that does not negate the need for change. Today we're holding a summit with all chiefs and PCCs hosted by the Home Secretary to discuss how we develop specialist capabilities, like armed policing, cyber units or teams tackling serious organised crime, on a shared basis to save money and improve services to the public

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Just under two weeks ago, public service leaders were waiting in anticipation of the Chancellor’s announcement on the Government Spending Review. Police chiefs and Police and Crime Commissioners were gathered together in Manchester for our first joint conference as the news came in that police budgets would not be cut over the course of this Parliament. We had been told that cuts of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent were being considered. We were pleased when the Chancellor said that the police protect the public and so he would protect the police.

Chiefs and PCCs have been thinking carefully for many months both locally and collectively about how we needed to change in response to changing crime and reducing budgets. The financial situation is better than we expected but that does not negate the need for change. We remain absolutely committed to the need to transform and reform policing.

Our officers will need to be better connected, better equipped and better informed in the future to cope with changing demand. I closed our conference with a reminder that we must keep up the momentum to ensure that in the next five years there is better use of technology, more integration with other public sector partners and our staff have better access to the information they need to do their jobs.

Making sure that specialist capabilities, like armed policing, cyber units or teams tackling serious organised crime, are delivered in the most effective way and provide the best value for money is a priority for me and the NPCC. Most policing will continue to be delivered locally where relationships with local communities are essential. Specialist policing is often delivered more successfully and efficiently above the force level where resources can be shared, approaches standardised and better outcomes achieved for the public. That’s why we’ve worked with Police and Crime Commissioners on a programme to develop them on a shared basis and why we’re holding a summit with all chiefs and PCCs hosted by the Home Secretary today.

This afternoon I want to hear the Home Secretary’s vision for specialist capabilities, share case studies where there are real opportunities like forensics and digital policing, and have a conversation with chiefs and PCCs about their views and the next steps.

We are facing new and evolving threats; we need to make more efficiencies in order to grow new capabilities to tackle them. This summit is part of achieving that.