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Police forces' threat to withhold funding

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Police forces in the West Midlands and Staffordshire are considering withdrawing funding for the body representing Britain's chief officers.

Police forces in the West Midlands and Staffordshire are considering withdrawing funding for the body representing Britain's chief officers.

The Association of Chief Police Officers, which coordinates national police operations, has been accused of resisting cuts while all other police bodies are dramatically slashing budgets, sparking a rebellion by a number of forces.

West Midlands Police Authority has still to commit to paying its annual fee, while Staffordshire will discuss its funding today.

David Pearsall, chairman of the Staffordshire Police Authority, said: "At a time of great pressure we have had funding cut and reduced staff, but ACPO hasn't come up with the goods.

"It has been asked for a number of years to look at this, but it was different in the past with budgets increasing every year. Now there are big cutbacks everywhere, and we expect ACPO to do the same.

"We will not stop funding initiatives for national policing, but we may withdraw funding for our subscriptions which pay for their secretariat unless they can show us why they need to pay certain salaries and employ a certain number of people."

Staffordshire Police Authority does not have to make a final decision today and may postpone a vote if ACPO provides evidence it needs to be fully funded.

Councillor Bob Jones, of West Midlands Police Authority, said it would meet next Thursday to discuss finding for ACPO. He said he expected some funding to be provided, but reduced in line with other cuts.

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"It's only fair that they take their fair share of cuts," he said.

Home Secretary Theresa May has been made aware of the potential funding boycott, which is reported to be under consideration by 13 of the 43 police authorities in England and Wales.

Bodies like the Association of Police Authorities are to cut staff by up to half, while ACPO is not planning reductions.

Funding for ACPO is paid on behalf of police forces by their police authorities, which hold their budgets.

They pay between them a total of more than £800,000 a year as a "subscription" to bankroll ACPO's central secretariat staff.

The Home Office pays the same amount.

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