Devolve more power and save officer cuts, says Greenhalgh

Further devolution of budgets and control of the criminal justice system would deliver savings without cutting police numbers, said the deputy mayor of policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh on Monday. 

By Sarah.Aston

20 Nov 2014

“If Whitehall expects us to absorb another round of cuts, then we need a new settlement for local police forces that devolves power and seeks to end the financial dependency on central Government,” Greenhalgh said at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APPC) conference in Harrogate.

Greenhalgh said that as the next government was likely to continue to look for savings, there was the distinct possibility that officer numbers could be cut.

However, Greenhalgh argued that devolving power to cities and giving them greater powers over budgets and integration would enable big cities like London to co-commission services and deliver “significant back office savings” without having to cut staff numbers.

“Big savings are being made in London but we are reaching the limit of what can be achieved within the current centralised set up,” said Greenhalgh.

“Here in London, greater devolution to the Mayor’s Office to enable oversight of the wider criminal justice system would enable us to co-commission services and make significant back office savings, whilst reducing demand on the police and improving criminal justice outcomes,” he continued.

Greenhalgh’s calls for devolution echoes the calls of London Think Tank Centre for London who released a manifesto call for further devolution to London in October. 

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