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Police and crime commissioners face “relentless” focus on finances

15 October 2012

With one month to go until voters across England and Wales elect 41 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), Deloitte, the business advisory firm, warns that newly-elected PCCs will face a “relentless” focus on financial management and cutting costs.

PCCs will take office with police budgets set to decline by 20% by 2014-15, the Winsor Review recommending annual pay and allowance savings of £163 million, Government aiming to save 4.5 million hours in police time by cutting ‘red tape’ and £1 in every £7 of police budgets being spent on pensions.

James Taylor, partner for policing at Deloitte, said: “PCCs will take charge with police forces undergoing massive upheaval and there will be a relentless focus on finances and cuts. Whatever party or candidate wins, the PCC will need to hit the ground running and be prepared to begin taking tough decisions from day one.

“Police forces are large and complex organisations, employing hundreds of people, covering hundreds of square miles and spending an average of £200 million a year, over £500 million for larger forces. The incoming PCC will need to get to grips with the financial position of the force.

“The PCC will urgently need to agree with the force what level of access they will have to financial information and what the budget sign off process will be. They will have to review current income and expenditure, understand existing contracts, even down to how they manage property and IT, and look at where they can share services with other organisations. By March 2013 the PCC will have to have finalised the police and crime plan, a complex five year document that requires a firm understanding of local needs so time will be of the essence.  

“This is all in addition to getting an office and protocols set up, getting up to speed on current police operations, planning how to deliver their manifesto commitments and balancing the rush of interest from the local communities, politicians and media all vying for their attention. This isn’t just a challenge, it is an opportunity to change the way public services work. The PCC can be a focal point to help them come together and tackle shared problems.”

Ends

Notes to editors:
About Deloitte
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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