Police budget and priorities under spotlight at latest accountability meeting
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) held his latest 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 Wednesday 25 November to focus on three priorities within the Police and Crime Plan:
- Good stewardship of taxpayers’ money
- Supporting rural communities
- Improving road safety.
In response to social distancing requirements in place since 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.
Opening the meeting, PCC Lorne Green marked White Ribbon day, urging those affected by domestic abuse to seek help from the local and national organisations there to support them. He also called for a united stand against domestic abuse, encouraging Norfolk’s businesses to demonstrate their commitment to preventing domestic abuse and helping affected employees by signing up to the HEAR pledge launched across the county today.
Items on the agenda included an update on the 2020/21 Norfolk policing budget, the impacts of COVID-19 on Force finances, and uncertainty around next year’s funding plans.
The PCC also received an overview of the ongoing policing response to the pandemic, as well as reports detailing how the Constabulary has been continuing to work to support rural communities and tackle the crime issues affecting them, and partnership efforts to keep the county’s roads safe.
PCC Lorne Green said: “With regards to current policing finances, I am reassured to hear that, despite the additional pressures caused by the pandemic, the 2020/21 budget is on track to balance. That is no small achievement in the current climate and is to the credit of the financial experts within Norfolk Police and my office.
“Positive feedback from independent inspectors and auditors on the way Norfolk Constabulary has responded to the challenges of the pandemic is also to be welcomed.
“As reported at the meeting, through prioritising core services and re-positioning resources to ensure those services continued to be available to communities, policing in Norfolk has coped well to this point. But it’s clear that it has not been easy and, although a lot of uncertainty and unknowns remain in play, we anticipate and are planning for the challenges and tough financial times still to come.
“As we digest today’s Spending Review announcement made by the Chancellor, and further detail as it comes over the weeks ahead, the shape of the hurdles we are set to face will no doubt become clearer.”