Amber Rudd tells police bosses to stop asking for more money to fight crime and terror

Home Secretary Amber Rudd outside 10 Downing Street.

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Home Secretary Amber Rudd outside 10 Downing Street.
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Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

    Home Secretary addressed police leaders at a conference in London. She rebuffed recent calls for £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) more police funding. Rudd said they needed their own plans to deal with rising crime.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd rebuked police chiefs who have asked her for more than a billion pounds in extra funding, telling them that their job “mustn’t just be about lobbying the government for money”.

In a speech to a gathering of senior police leaders and elected Police and Crime Commissioners in Central London, Rudd pushed back against recent demands for £1.3 billion to tackle both everyday crime and major threats like terror attacks.

She told the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council Partnership Summit that the priority should be delivering on existing plans to protect the public.

Referring specifically to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), elected officials who oversee local policing, Rudd said that “part of being a PCC is speaking to the government about resourcing – but it mustn’t just be about lobbying the government for money.”

She continued: “So when crime stats go up, I don’t just want to see you reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money from the government. I want to you tell your local communities and the victims in your area what your plan is to make them safer.”

Her words appear to be a very direct response to public statements made over the weekend by the APCC, which put a figure of £1.3 billion on extra funding they say they need to fight crime between now and 2020.

They complained at the loss of 19% of police manpower since 2010 and said forces have become “stretched like never before.” It came shortly after statistics showed a 13% increase in crime in England and Wales.

The APCC said it wanted the money to hire 5,000 more regular officers and 1,100 more armed officers.

Elsewhere in her speech, Rudd praised police officials for delivering cuts to their services, which she said “have saved hundreds of millions of pounds for the taxpayer.”

Instead of the billion-plus requested of her, Rudd focussed another part of her address on a much smaller pot of money – £27 million allocated to police “transformation projects” including a new call handling system in London and support for collaboration with health workers in South Wales.