Adam Simmonds reveals policing budget

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Northamptonshire’s police and crime commissioner says he is excited to publish his budget for the forthcoming financial year.

Adam Simmonds unveiled details of his proposals this afternoon (Monday, January 28) at police headquarters in Northampton.

Adam Simmonds

Adam Simmonds

The budget announcement comes days after Government figures revealed Northamptonshire saw one of the slowest decreases in crime rates in England and Wales.

Crime decreased by one per cent in the 12 months to September last year in the county, compared to a national average of a seven per cent decrease. All other force areas except Devon and Cornwall and Wiltshire saw a larger fall in their crime rate than Northamptonshire.

The police’s budget for the 2013-14 financial year will be £123m.

Mr Simmonds said the police precept, which forms part of council tax, would be frozen for the coming year.

And efficiencies elsewhere meant the number of front line police officers would remain the same at just over 1,200, he added.

Police forces often budget for an increase in officer numbers to unsustainable levels, he said, which meant Northamptonshire Police had put aside funding for a number of officers which had never been achieved and which he said was unsustainable.

He also plans to introduce a reservist force – a similar concept to the Territorial Army – which would be the first in the UK outside Northern Ireland.

The reservist force would eventually be 200-strong, but he said he only expected 20 to 30 people to join up in the coming 12 months.

Mr Simmonds said: “This budget is good news. I am not cutting police officers, I am not charging people more money.

“Everything I said during the election are the building blocks of what I am doing.”

He said he would be cutting managers, adding: “I am getting the force to look at the way they keep their back offices.”

But he also admitted financial pressures on the police could intensify in the coming years.

You can read a full report of Mr Simmonds’ budget in this week’s Telegraph, on sale from Thursday.