Greater Manchester Consultation
Dear Greater Manchester residents and businesses,
Funding for the police comes both directly from a central Government grant and also from the police precept element of your council tax. About 20% of the funding for Greater Manchester Police comes from that police precept, one of the lowest proportions in the country. This means that here in Greater Manchester we are heavily reliant on government funding to protect the police on our streets who help keep our communities safe.
Since 2010, the Government has cut the grant they provide to Greater Manchester Police by £215million, which has resulted in 2000 fewer police officers, 1000 fewer support staff and devastating cuts to other essential resources. This has come at the same time when the police are having to deal with ever increasing serious and complex crimes, such as cybercrime, terrorism, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
By cutting the grant funding they provide, the Government has shifted the burden onto local residents, forcing us to ask local people to consider making an even greater contribution to the cost of policing Greater Manchester. We don’t yet know how much money the Government will provide, what the shortfall will be or what our options for balancing the budget could be. Because of the General Election the Government has failed to provide us with this vital information on time but are still insisting that we are ready to make proposals on the police precept element of the council tax by 1 February. We have therefore been forced to base our budget plans on the amount of money the Government provided to us last year and the same rules that they set for us about the police precept.
Thanks to the support of local residents last year, the money we raised through the police precept enabled us to recruit 320 additional police officers, the first time we could significantly add to officer numbers since 2010. These officers have gone in to our communities, a dedicated transport unit launched late last year and new detectives have been recruited to deal with the most serious crimes. The Government has announced 6,000 police officers will be recruited as part of a national programme in the next year. We expect just over 300 of these to be in Greater Manchester, but this will only begin to reverse the big decrease since 2010: it will not fully make up that shortfall.
Until the Government provides the essential information we need to finalise the police budget we cannot make any firm proposals on the precept element of your council tax. We are instead asking you the same question as last year: if you are willing, in principle, to support up to an extra £2 per month for the average band D household. This will enable us to ensure that the police officers we have already recruited are able to continue tackling crime.
You can tell us your views here
- Closing Date
- 27th January 2020