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Police: Finance

November 3, 2008

Question written on 03/11/2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police constables and (b) police community support officers in (i) England and (ii) Avon and Somerset Constabulary will be funded by her Department for each year of the 2007 to 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review period; and how much has been set aside for this purpose for each such year.

Answered by Vernon Coaker

The following table sets out the number of constables and police community support officers in England and the Avon and Somerset constabulary for March 2007 and 2008. It is not possible to identify what proportion of constables are, or will be funded by the Home Office during the CSR period as the cost of policing is jointly met through police grant from the Home Office, revenue support grant from the DCLG and the police authority precept on the council tax. Decisions on the number of officers at each rank are an operational matter for the chief constable.In December 2006, in response to requests from Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities, my predecessor agreed to relax the controls over officer numbers imposed by the Crime Fighting Fund (CFF). As a result of this relaxation, chief constables are able to use the CFF funding where it is most needed, rather than solely to fund police officer posts. This flexibility has given the service the freedom they asked for to employ staff instead of officers in back office and support roles, allowing officers to concentrate on core policing functions.CFF payments total 274.3 million for England, including 1.422 million for the Avon and Somerset constabulary. As many forces are now taking advantage of the new CFF flexibilities it is not possible to identify how many constable posts continue to be funded through the CFF.In the case of police community support officers specific grant funding for neighbourhood policing includes a contribution towards the cost of maintaining PCSOs in England. Home Office funding in 2008-09 for neighbourhood policing, including PCSOs, is 310 million, including 7 million for Avon and Somerset to continue implementing neighbourhood policing and to help support the cost of their PCSOs. The Government have announced that this funding will be uprated in each year of the comprehensive spending review period in line with inflation. Police constables and police community support officers England and Avon and Somerset constabulary( 1) 31 March 2007 31 March 2008 ConstablesEngland103,724103,374Avon and Somerset2,6582,639 Police community support officersEngland12,85615,107Avon and Somerset302377(1 )All figures are full-time equivalent strength