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Techie1

Policing Minister: We are not deaf to your concerns

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Minister hints at better resourcing and pay.

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The government listens to the service and is keen to help officers, the Policing Minister says.

Addressing the Police Superintendents’ Association Conference today, Nick Hurd said pay and resource complaints are being listened to.

After beginning his speech apologising for the non-appearance of Home Secretary Amber Rudd, he addressed a number of topics including resourcing.

On pay, he said: “We’re not deaf, even if we sometimes give the impression that we are.

“The message we have heard very clear and constant is about stretch and strain and the pressure experienced police officers telling me they haven’t worked under these conditions before.

“I’m standing here as a representative of the government who’s profoundly aware that police officers and a number of others have had to take their share of the burden […].

“There’s a limit to what we can reasonably ask of people.”

But he added that there is “considerable concern being expressed by employers” about “sustainability”, which is why there has been a delay so far. He said there will be an announcement on pay imminently.

Candid conversations about budgets will soon be held, he said, and hinted he will make some forces spend their reserves.

PSAEW president Chief Supt Gavin Thomas had earlier called for a pay rise and for better resourcing.

Mr Hurdalso promised a thorough review of resources and budgets, and other areas such as morale which he wrote to chief constables and police and crime commissioners about today. He said such a body of work had never been done before, and will shape the 2018/19 budget with an evidence base.

Elsewhere he promised a total of £60 million funding for several projects, including funding for certain forces.

His speech coincided with the announcement of a number of successful bids to the police transformation fund including a pilot to roll out video evidence in courts, £6 million to help digital policing in Cheshire, Essex, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Merseyside and £23 million over the next three years for the NCA, Regional Organised Crime Units, and some police forces to detect, monitor and disrupt organised crime groups.

Responding to the funding announcements, Paddy Tipping, chairman of the Association of PCCs said: "The £60 million funding package announced by the minister will be invested across our regions and in local forces to ensure that our police can respond to the range of threats which pose harm to our communities.

"This funding covers programmes that use innovative ways to keep our communities safe, by investing in digital policing methods and effective local partnerships to combat serious and organised crime, whilst protecting the most vulnerable members of our society."

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