Amber Rudd tells police chiefs to put 'cutting crime' ahead of demands for more cash
Amber Rudd has issued a blistering rebuke to police chiefs, telling them they must focus on “cutting crime,” rather than “lobbying the Government for money”.
Speaking at the annual conference of police chiefs and crime commissioners yesterday, the Home Secretary warned that increases in crime should not see them simply “reaching for a pen to write a press release asking for more money.”
The slapdown follows calls from a number of senior policing figures, including Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, to halt further budget cuts following years of austerity.
Ms Rudd said: “Of course, part of being a police and crime commissioner is about speaking to the government about resourcing.
“But it mustn’t just be about lobbying the government for money. It needs to be about cutting crime, delivering on the priorities you were elected on and being held to account by local people in your area when you don’t.
“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 you to tell your local communities and the victims in your area what your plan is to make them safer.”
Ms Rudd also told the summit in London that £1.6 billion held by forces in cash reserves could be used to secure “greater efficiencies”.
The intervention comes after warnings from Ms Dick over the latest round of funding cuts to policing budgets.
She said it would be “incredibly demanding” for the Met Police to find £400m in annual savings on top of the £600m a year of cuts it had already implemented.
Speaking to reporters, Ms Dick added: “I find it incredible to think that anybody would think that over the next four or five years we should lose that much extra out of our budget.”