Relief over police funding budget

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Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings has spoken of his relief that police budgets are not to be cut any further this year.

Dr Billings expressed his relief after Chancellor George Osborne froze police funding cuts last week.

The Commissioner said: “The message seems to have got through that numbers had already been reduced to levels that were frankly getting near a tipping point. “However, the government still does not recognise the way the demand on the police service is changing. Overall crime has gone down, but the crimes that are going up are more serious, organised and complex and require greater not fewer resources to solve.

“In addition, non-crime demand on the police rises, not least because of the growing number of vulnerable people – including children and elderly dementia sufferers - who go missing. Finding them takes up huge amounts of police time every day.

“The cuts to neighbourhood policing in recent years have also weakened the response to the threat of terrorism. The security services rely on intelligence that comes through neighbourhood police and PCSOs.

“I remain committed to neighbourhood policing and will continue to protect it as far as possible.”