An emergency funding boost to tackle the knife crime epidemic sweeping the country has been welcomed, but is not a long-term fix, says the National Chair of the Police Federation John Apter.
Chancellor Philip Hammond today in his Spring Statement heeded the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) request for urgent funding amid a surge in serious violent crime -setting out to the Home Secretary the scale of investment needed.
An additional £100million – understood to be more than what was initially asked for- has been allocated over the course of next year in a bid to mitigate the issue through a set of measures including setting up violent crime reduction units.
He confirmed the funds will be ring fenced to pay for overtime costs.
Mr Hammond acknowledged police and crime commissioners are committed to recruit and train extra officers, but this takes time – emphatically stating him and the Prime Minister have agreed action is needed now.
Police funding will rise to £970million from April, he cited, whilst also confirming the Home Secretary will now work with police chiefs to find a lasting solution to the problem.
PFEW John Apter, said: “We welcome any additional funding and this clearly shows that the Home Secretary has listened to us and fought for this extra money which will help in the short term.
“At our meeting on Monday I made it clear that police officers who are at the forefront of tackling this epidemic are already run ragged; and it is a sad state of affairs when the Home Secretary has to take a begging bowl to the Treasury in a bid to solve the crisis we find ourselves in and we don’t yet know how the money will be broken down among the 43 forces.
“Whilst the funding is welcome it is, however, just a short-term fix as knife crime and violent crime continues to plague our towns and cities. We still urgently need additional resources to solve this issue in the long run.
“The Government must make a significant investment in the spending review to give police the long-term boost they need.
“We know this cannot be solved overnight, or by the police alone, but we certainly need to be at the heart of any solution.”
Further announcements on police spending are expected to be made at the spending review this summer “assuming a Brexit deal is agreed over the next few weeks”.