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Commissioner challenges under-investment claims

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has challenged claims that there is a lack of investment in policing.

Commissioner challenges under-investment claims

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, reported a ‘deepening frustration that this is a service which is suffering from a disinterest and a long-term lack of investment’.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said she recognised that policing was a challenging vocation but pointed out there had been considerable increase in investment in Devon and Cornwall Police, both from central Government and local council tax payers.

“I am fortunate enough to have a constructive relationship with the Police Federation and remain open to discussing ways in which we can offer more support to officers in Devon and Cornwall, whose work is so vital to our communities’ safety, security and sense of wellbeing,” she said.

“I disagree, however, with the federation’s view that the service is suffering from political disinterest and under-funding. Devon and Cornwall Police is on track to hit record police officer numbers this year thanks to record levels of Government investment, and record levels of support from residents of Devon and Cornwall through their council tax precept.

“Those combined additional monies have resulted in a force annual budget that now £89m greater than it was when I was elected to office in 2016.

“Much of that investment has been spent on officer uplift which is only now starting to be felt by our communities as probation periods are completed. In a time of economic uncertainty these new officers can expect to earn in excess of £43,000 a year within seven years, without promotion, in roles which will never be made redundant.

“My focus will now be on ensuring our new Chief Constable has the resources available to ensure that the efforts of his workforce are more effective, recognised and felt both within the organisation and by those residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly who we all serve.”