Police in Devon and Cornwall are set to receive an additional £18.7 million next year as part of a Government funding boost for force budgets.

The extra funds have been praised by Westcountry MPs for helping “ensure our police have what they need to keep us safe”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel this month announced policing will receive up to £15.8 billion in 2021-22 – an increase of £636 million on this year.

This includes over £400 million to meet the Conservative Party’s election pledge to recruit 20,000 extra police officers by 2023. The funding will be also be used to bolster counter-terrorism policing, including money for armed policing.

The Government is also providing £30 million to help forces step up coronavirus enforcement and has reimbursed forces for additional PPE purchased between March and July.

North Devon Conservative MP Selaine Saxby said: “Officers and staff at Devon and Cornwall Police have been instrumental in keeping our community safe this year, and I pay tribute to them for their hard work and professionalism.

“I am delighted to see Devon and Cornwall getting an additional £18.7 million next year.”

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Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes and South Devon, said: “I was proud to be elected last year on a promise to get more officers onto the streets and to ensure our police have what they need to keep us safe.

“This Conservative Government is now doing exactly that – ensuring we build back safer as we recover from coronavirus.”

The Government says that alongside getting more officers out on the street, the funding settlement will enable policing to combat serious violence and increase the number of specialist officers tackling terrorism and serious organised crime, including child sexual abuse and drug trafficking.

The 2021/22 funding package means an increase of up to £636 million on last year, should Police and Crime Commissioners take full advantage of police precept flexibility.

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.”

She added: “Officers across the South West have been working hard all year, keeping their communities safe and fighting crime.

“This funding package means they can continue to deliver on the people’s priorities – namely less crime, more police officers, and ultimately safer streets.”

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “It’s reassuring that the Government is making good on their promise to invest in policing. We’re on track to recruit 317 police extra officers by the end of this financial year thanks to both the Government and our community paying more in their council tax. We may be the second lowest crime area in the country, but our communities will be even safer as a result of this uplift.”

Ms Hernandez is currently conducting a survey asking the public for their policing priorities, which runs until January 3 and can be found at www.devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk. The survey introduction says that in a year that has seen the coronavirus pandemic “affect every aspect of life and caused uncertainty about the South West economy and job prospects” Ms Hernandez is “minded not to impose an additional financial burden on the communities of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by significantly increasing the precept for the next financial year”.

“I recognise that tough decisions will need to be made about spending. That’s why I need people to take a few minutes to give me their views,” she said.

The publication of the Government’s provisional funding settlement opens a period of consultation. The final police funding settlement will be debated in Parliament ahead of the new financial year.

The Home Office said that nationally policing has been boosted by almost 6,000 additional police officers. It added that funding for counter-terrorism policing will total up to £914 million, including money for armed policing and more officers. In addition, counter-terrorism policing will receive £32million for a new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre.





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