UK Police to Receive Over £15 Billion

December 18, 2020 Updated: December 18, 2020

The Police in England and Wales will receive up to £15.8 billion ($21.35 billion) funding in the 2021/2022 financial year, an increase of up to £636 million ($859 million) on the previous year, the government announced on Thursday.

The Home Office on Thursday launched the consultation on next year’s police grant allocations for England and Wales (pdf), ahead of a parliamentary debate on it before the new financial year.

The proposed funding will cover the funding of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), counter-terrorism policing, and national priorities.

“I am absolutely committed to giving the police the resources they need—this funding package delivers on that,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.

“It will allow us to continue to put more police on the streets, and reduce crime as we build back safer from the pandemic.”

Priti Patel
Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel arrives in Downing Street in central London on Sept. 8, 2020. (Niklas Halle’n/AFP via Getty Images)

The Home office said an additional £415 million ($561 million) of the funding will be given PCCs to hire 6,000 new officers next year, as a part of the government three-year plan to recruit extra officers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to expand the police force by 20,000 over a three-year period, and prison spaces by 10,000, in his party’s 2019 manifesto.

In last year’s budget, the government had provided £700 million ($946 million) for the PCCs to recruit 6,000 officers by March 2021, a target which the government said it had almost delivered, according to statistics on Sept. 30, 2020.

Counter-Terrorism policing will get up to £914 million ($1.2 billion) funding “including money for armed policing and more officers,” and an additional £32 million ($43 million) to establish a new Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre, to combat a range of threats including terrorism, hostile state activity, and organised crime.

£1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) will be provided for national policing programmes and priorities, including £54.8 million ($74 million) in special grant funding to contribute to unexpected events and major investigations.

Patel said that she was “extremely grateful” for the police as they had been demanded more than ever during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

The government said it had provided additional support for the police throughout the pandemic, “including £30 million [($40.5 million)] of surge funding to help forces step up COVID-19 enforcement activities in 2020 to 2021,” and reimbursed all additional personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased between March and July.

Police Precept

Apart from grants from the central government, around a third of funding for PCCs comes from police precept—raised through council tax.

The government said that “overall funding available to PCCs will increase by up to £703 million [$561million] next year—a 5.4 [percent] cash increase on the 2020/21 settlement—if PCCs make full use of their flexibility to increase precept.”

In order to “make full use” of the flexibility, PCCs will have to raise an extra £288 million ($389 million) by increasing council tax.

PCCs will be allowed to increase the charge by up to £15 ($20) for a  typical Band D property after consulting the local electorate.

In the last budget, PCCs were allowed to increase police precept by £10 ($13.5).