Budget challenges brought into focus at virtual accountability meeting
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has held a virtual accountability meeting with the Chief Constable this week to hold him to account for the county’s policing service.
The Police Accountability Forum was held on Tuesday 29 September to focus on three priorities within the Police and Crime Plan:
- Good stewardship of taxpayers’ money
- Increasing visible policing
- Preventing offending.
In response to social distancing requirements introduced in March, the PCC has moved to virtual meetings with the Chief Constable and senior officers to monitor and oversee the work of the Constabulary in delivering the county’s Police and Crime Plan.
The agenda and reports for today’s Police Accountability Forum have been published, along with a video of the meeting.
Key items on the agenda included an update from the Chief Constable on how the Force is continuing to respond to the demands and challenges of the pandemic.
The PCC also received a report on the Constabulary’s financial position, and the impact of the Covid response, and activity to meet national requirements around police officer recruitment and qualifications, on Norfolk’s policing budget.
PCC Lorne Green said: “At this time every year, my thoughts, and those of the Chief Constable, turn to setting the policing budget for the upcoming year and the challenges faced in bridging budget gaps to balance the books.
“While the Constabulary and my office are working hard to understand what might be coming our way, and plan our finances accordingly, we remain in unprecedented times and, therefore, there are a significant number of unknowns.
“From what I have heard during this meeting, both the recruitment of new officers and the new requirements for police qualifications and training are already impacting on where investment is needed and where savings can be made.
“I have no doubt there will be some difficult discussions to be had over the coming months, and some significant challenges to overcome.
“That aside, I remain justifiably proud of our Constabulary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic so far, and the continued commitment of all its officers and staff to maintaining law and order, fighting crime and supporting our communities.”
Other items on the agenda for the meeting included an update from the Constabulary on the progress being made with regards to police complaints since the introduction of police integrity reforms which gave PCCs a statutory duty on complaint reviews.