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No relief for Police in 2013 Budget

16 May 2013

No relief for Police in 2013 Budget

Today’s Budget confirms funding for Police remains frozen, which means Police will face continued pressure to make savings to meet rising costs for the foreseeable future, Police Association Vice-President Stuart Mills said today.

“Police have had to make considerable internal savings to make ends meet for each of the last two years, including reducing non-sworn support staff. Today’s Budget unfortunately provides no relief. Police will be forced to continue making cuts to meet inflation-related cost pressures,” Mr Mills said.

Big drops in recorded crime over recent years are a direct result of investment in police resources in the last half of the last decade, but those gains are fragile, Mr Mills said.

“Police resources were significantly boosted over the five years through to about 2010. This meant police could act proactively, and preventively, instead of being constantly short-staffed and able to do little more than rush from one emergency call to the next.

“We are now in an environment where budgets have been frozen for several years, while cost pressures keep mounting. To make ends meet, we are seeing widespread restructuring, and the loss of non-sworn support staff positions. These translate to added pressure on the frontline.

“We have yet to see that pressure show in the crime statistics. However, experience shows that, sooner or later, ‘business as usual’ policing will suffer, and lead to the sorts of crises we saw in the late 1990s and early 2000s – such as the Comms Centres crisis, ‘P’ epidemic, and un-investigated child abuse files,” Mr Mills said.

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