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Funding to support continued improvements to GMP approved by Police, Fire and Crime Panel

The Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel has today (Tuesday 30 January) unanimously agreed to Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s proposal to fund continued improvements in policing with an increase to the police precept for 2024/25.

The precept will increase by 84p per month for a Band B property or £1.08 per month for a Band D property. Over 80 percent of households in Greater Manchester are in Bands A to C.

The Police, Fire and Crime Panel is made up of elected representatives from across all 10 of Greater Manchester’s councils, as well as independent members, and is chaired by Cllr Janet Emsley. The Panel’s role is to scrutinise the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, who have Police and Crime Commissioner responsibilities which includes setting the police precept – the part of council tax which funds police.

The increase, along with the central government policing grant, will fund:

  • A further 30 police officers into frontline policing roles in 2024/25.
  • Continued progress as the fastest improving force in the country.
  • Improvements to response times for emergency and non-emergency incidents.
  • Continued investment in neighbourhood policing and crime prevention teams to further reduce neighbourhood crimes.
  • Efforts to lock up more criminals and provide swifter and better services for victims and witnesses through investment in investigations and criminal justice units.
  • Increased capacity to prosecute offenders, with a focus on increasing arrests for sex offenders and ensuring justice for vulnerable victims.

The police precept for a Band D property will increase by £13, from £243.30 to £256.30 next year. For a Band B property it will go up by £10.11, from £189.23 to £199.34.

Even with the increase, the Greater Manchester police precept will remain one of the lowest in the country.

The increase to the police precept will enable recent improvements in Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to continue. The latest report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) noted significant improvements in the service GMP delivers, with the force rated the fastest improving in the country.

For 999 and 101 calls, GMP’s average answering speed is now much faster, and in November GMP was first out of 43 police forces nationally, answering 999 calls in an average of just 2 seconds. Last year GMP responded to 86 percent of emergency incidents within the national target of 15 minutes, up from 79 percent the previous year.

Between June 2022 and June 2023, knife crime in Greater Manchester decreased by 12.5 percent across all ages, and 13.5 percent for victims under age 25.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The Government’s decision to cut police funding in real terms for 2024/25 has forced us into a difficult decision at the local level.

“We are proud of the progress that GMP has made in recent years and are simply not prepared to put this at risk by leaving the force with large a gap in its budget for the coming year.

“We are grateful to the cross-party Police, Crime and Fire Panel for unanimously supporting our decision and will make sure that, in the coming 12 months, GMP continues to deliver real results for our residents.”

Chair of the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel, Cllr Janet Emsley, said: “Today the Police, Fire and Crime Panel agreed to the Mayor’s proposal to increase the police precept. Our priority is keeping people and communities safe, and this starts with ensuring GMP has the resources it needs to do its job properly.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Fire and Criminal Justice, Kate Green, said: “I would like to thank the Panel for their careful scrutiny and consideration of our proposal. Both the Mayor and I understand that this is a difficult time for many people, and the decision to impose a further cost is not one we’ve taken lightly. People should be reassured that the decision to increase the police precept will help GMP deliver a better service, by bringing in more frontline police officers, increasing investment in its neighbourhood policing teams, and delivering better services for victims.”

The Mayor has previously set out proposals for the Mayoral and fire service precepts. The plans will go to a special budget setting meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday 9 February.

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Article Published: 30/01/2024 19:20 PM