It’s no secret that successive rounds of Government funding cuts have hit police forces hard over the last few years, something which shows no sign of abating.
In Derbyshire we have had grant reductions of over £20m since 2011 and face a further £3.4m next year. In addition, the Government has taken a further £1.274m from the main police grant to help fund a number of national policing schemes. This money, which equates to the loss of around 39 Derbyshire police officers, should have remained in the county for local determination.
Despite these unprecedented budget cuts the chief constable and I are focused on maintaining performance.
Local people tell me they want to see visible police officers and PCSOs, on the streets where they want them and when they want them. They also say they are willing to pay a little more towards policing in order to have what they want!
However, following approval by the police and crime panel, the majority of households (bands A and B) in Derbyshire will pay around an extra £2.18, less than 5p per week, in the amount of council tax that goes towards policing.
And finally, some good news; Ripley residents may have heard that the Safer Neighbourhood Team were moving from the Town Hall having been given notice to quit by Amber Valley Borough Council.
AVBC have let the office space to Derbyshire County Council who in turn offered to sub-let back to the Police, but with the budget cuts being imposed on us by the Government it was not possible for the police to take on the cost of the sub-let. However Ripley Town Council thought it so important to keep our Safer Neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs based in the town centre that they have offered to pay the cost of the lease. I would like to thank Ripley Town Council for this generous offer.