In response to the budget announcement by the Chancellor, George Osbourne, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, said:
“Once again, the Chancellor has refused to provide clarity on the future funding of policing. We have already had to cope with planning for the cuts projected for 2013-14, and at least he hasn’t made that worse in today’s budget.
“However, he has raised the threat of having even more severe cuts to the public sector, when the next spending review takes place in July.
“By not providing details, the Chancellor is making the difficult job of long term planning in the police service even harder, as we cannot be sure of what fresh cuts this reckless Government will enforce on South Wales Police. The simple truth is that this service cannot cope with any additional cuts to funding, and I strongly urge the Chancellor and Home Secretary to protect the police from any future cuts.
“This Chancellor seems determined to put as much burden as possible on the poor. But it’s the poorest who have the biggest burden to face when it comes to crime. Yet again this Government is failing our communities.
“We will have to look very closely at the details, for example the Home Office has transferred funds to the Police and Crime Commissioner for community safety work, but they have cut the money in doing so, putting vital work of local partners at risk. I wonder whether there are any other hidden cuts in the small print of the red book.
“Within South Wales, we have already scraped the bottom of the barrel to manage the £47million budget deficit which arose following the savage cuts put forward in the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010.
“It is as a result of these cuts that I made a modest increase to the police precept level of £11.86 for a Band D property for the year ahead. This has secured the jobs of 40 community support officers who would otherwise now be unemployed because of the Government pilfering money from the previously protected Neighbourhood Policing Fund.
“I am grateful for the generosity of the Welsh Government which has enabled us to employ an additional 206 community support officers to work in our local areas. Unlike Central Government, Welsh Ministers see the benefit in helping the police, rather than hindering us at every opportunity.”