Cleveland Police chief hits out over delay in Government funding announcement

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale.
Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale.

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale has hit out over a delay in setting out the police funding grant until after the Brexit vote next week.

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale said: “Details of the Government’s police funding grant had been expected this week and it is very disappointing that this has not been the case. Our future plans hang on knowing the money we will have to protect our communities and any delay is a cause for concern.

“Nationally the amount provided to policing per crime has reduced from £3,540 in 2012/13 to £2,200 in 2017/18. This is a reduction of nearly 40% in cash terms. The case to be made is not that Cleveland Police on its own needs more money but policing in its entirety needs more money.

“There have also been disturbing reports in the media this week that the Government is looking to local taxes to make up the shortfall in central funding. Our communities are home to some of the poorest families in the country. It would not be fair or equitable to tax them further to make up for a lack of central Government support.

“We already ask a lot of our communities through yearly increases in the policing element of the local Council Tax bill but there is only so much they can give. We must have a fair funding formula and more money from the Government for the police service; without this, crime will continue to rise, people will continue to suffer and our brave officers and staff will be unable to do all that is asked of them.”

Mr Veale took a rare step to speak out last week about the challenges facing the force and vowed to make changes.

It came after the Mail reported that volunteers in the Foggy Furze area of Hartlepool said they have no option but to take to the streets in the middle of the night following cuts to police in the town.

Mr Veale said: “Every day of the week there are officers and staff out on our streets keeping people safe and protecting our communities by showing the utmost courage. Policing in the 21st Century is a risky business where criminals are more sophisticated, more resourceful and more dangerous than they ever have been before. Every day of the week that courage and tenacity results in dangerous criminals being locked up, vulnerable people being protected and members of the public helped in their greatest hour of need."

He added: "Forces across the country including Cleveland are more efficient and more effective than ever before but despite this efficiency the service we are providing the public is nowhere near where it needs to be.”