Yorkshire police forces 'left short' after Home Office reveals funding for next year – with £73 more spent per head in London than Yorkshire

A police chief has criticised the sum granted to his force after the Government's announcement of next year's grants revealed a disparity between policing costs in the North and the capital. in London.

A total of £806,325,481 has been awarded to Yorkshire's four police forces by the Home Office for the coming financial year – equating to £147 per head.

For comparison, the sum spent on the Metropolitan Police in London equates to £219 per person (excluding City of London Police), despite West Yorkshire Police recording more offences per 100,000 people last year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson has hit out at the £362,738,448 figure for West Yorkshire Police, saying it would "not go far enough" and would leave communities shouldering the financial burden.

A police officer pictured in Page Hall, Sheffield, as grants for police forces for next years are announced by the Home Office

South Yorkshire is to receive a police grant of £215,680,098 from the Home Office, while Humberside Police will be granted £140,958,836 and North Yorkshire Police is set to receive £86,948,099.

Forces across the country have been given the option to raise council taxes by £15 on Band D properties meanwhile, for extra cash.

Police forces receive both central funding and cash from council taxpayers, known as the police precept. However, the counties' PCCs say they are still short and even with the raised council taxes could struggle to make ends meet.

Earlier this year, it was revealed how West Yorkshire Police was facing an "unprecedented" £30m gap in its budget for 2020/2021 and looking at cuts across departments, while Humberside Police confirmed it was also looking at a deficit, albeit smaller.

Police officers in Sheffield

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “The Government funding allocation for policing across West Yorkshire doesn’t go far enough, as it still assumes a very heavy reliance upon local taxpayers as we also learn that a Covid-19 Tier 3 impact will also continue throughout West Yorkshire.

“The impact of Government spending cuts of around 30 per cent to policing in West Yorkshire since 2010 still cannot be underestimated, which has led to real strain on existing resources, sustained only by the increases I have had little choice but to raise through the police precept in protecting frontline workers.

“This latest announcement leaves us in a similar position to last year and does not adequately cover significant unavoidable cost pressures.

"Coupled with the big challenges created by the ongoing Covid pandemic, it unfortunately again assumes much of the burden being shouldered by our communities, already struggling in the current climate of economic uncertainty."

West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson

The financial figures were released in a document on Thursday are are for funding the forces from April 2021 until March 2022.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, said that although Government police spending had increased this year, much of that was to fund its promise to deliver an extra 20,000 police officers – despite approximately the same number being cut from forces since 2010 due to austerity measures.

“Even if council tax were increased, the police will still have to make significant savings to balance the books," Dr Billings said.

"For ten years from 2010 the number of police officers in the country was cut year on year by more than 20,000. In South Yorkshire we lost over 500 posts – and we saw a rise in serious violence. What is happening now is a partial restoration of those cuts."

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has already issued a survey for the public's view on raising council taxes to fund public services for next year.

She said: “I know your personal circumstances and finances may have changed, but the pressures on our hard-working police officers, firefighters and staff remain as intense as ever."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We have asked more of the police than ever before during the coronavirus pandemic – the British people and I are extremely grateful for their dedication.

“I am absolutely committed to giving the police the resources they need – this funding package delivers on that.

“It will allow us to continue to put more police on the streets, and reduce crime as we build back safer from the pandemic.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.