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Cuts to local police fund London force

Police officers make arrests in Whitehall when scuffles broke out following a one day national strike against pension changes and funding cuts to the public sector

Police officers make arrests in Whitehall when scuffles broke out following a one day national strike against pension changes and funding cuts to the public sector

WIGAN’S police force has been hit by a shock £6.4m policing cut – partly to fund security in London’s banking district.

Greater Manchester Police chiefs have expressed fury at the “outrageous” figure, which is enough to pay for 145 officers.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy has warned it will spark more job losses and called for the Home Secretary to think again.

And police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said GMP was losing out to government “pet projects”.

More than £100,000 of the figure will go straight to City of London police who are said to need more money to deal with events of major national interest in the capital’s financial district, including Old Bailey court trials.

Nearly £1m will go to bolster the Independent Police Complaints Commission, despite local leaders wanting it scrapped.

And some £160,000 will go to a national scheme to recruit people from outside the profession into top policing jobs.

That is despite Greater Manchester opting out of the programme and senior figures believing it would be funded from elsewhere. Sir Peter said there was “no question” the cut would come from frontline staffing.

He said: “We were told that we would be funded through the Home Office. All that’s happened is they have taken it off us instead.

“We have to reduce the number of senior officers as part of the cuts so clearly we are not going to take more in from outside.”

He added: “I need to speak to other chief constables but we would hope there would be a rethink to return more of this money to local policing.”

Mr Lloyd added: “Instead it is being used to fund pet projects that will be of little or no benefit to the people of Greater Manchester.

“The idea that the banking sector is to get extra protection at the expense of Greater Manchester residents is extraordinary.”

He said forcing GMP to pay for the new senior officer recruitment initiative was “just wrong”.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Getting the economy back on track has meant a challenging funding settlement for the police, but forces like Manchester have shown an ability to make savings while still cutting crime.”

Where the money will go:

•Police Innovation Fund – a central pot for which forces will have to bid for forward-thinking projects - £2.65m

•IPCC – £950,000

•Direct entry scheme for senior officers - £160,000

•City of London Police - £110,000

•Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – policing watchdog - £48,000

•National Police Co-ordination Centre - £5,000

•Cut to community safety grant - £2m

 

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