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Police spending hits highest levels in a decade as Boris backs bobbies with £21.49 billion

Iain Dale criticises listener’s text about Met Police Commissioner

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Police spending, which often makes up a core tenet of Conservative campaigns, has lagged in the last decade. Data shows that since David Cameron’s Government took over in 2010, it has dropped for several years. But Boris Johnson now seems primed to split from the habits of his predecessors, data shows.

The Prime Minister has boosted public spending on police services in the UK since taking office.

Data compiled by Statista shows that in the 2019 to 2020 financial year, the Government added £18.68 billion to the police budget.

That amount was millions of pounds less than the 19.3 billion Labour delivered between 2009 and 2010, but funding levels surged this year.

Between 2020 and 2021, the Conservative Government plied the police with £21.49 billion.

The latest funding boost is the highest a Prime Minister has offered since 2010.

In the four years between 2010 and 2014, the Conservatives consistently weakened police budgets.

Former PM David Cameron presided over £700 million worth of reductions from the 2009/10 tax year to 2010/11 to £18.58 billion.

During 2011/12 and 2012/13, the amount fell further to £18.24 and £17.58 billion.

And between 2013 and 2014, funding dropped to its lowest level of the last decade, £16.35 billion.

The Conservatives only started to pick up funding again, adding a trickle from the 2017/18 financial year.

From 2016 to 2020, the police budget rose from £16.37 billion to £18.68 billion.

As investment in the police redoubled, Government proposals would see it applied with more flexibility.

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Ministers have proposed allowing elected officials to divert funding from police forces in the UK to other areas.

Funding applied to other sectors, the Government argues, could ease the burden on police.

For example, bolstering mental health services with police money could allow them to take care of mental health-related callouts police might otherwise have to handle.

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) would have the final say on where the funding goes.

But police leaders have railed against the plans, claiming they are already facing a budget deficit.

Speaking to The Times, one senior officer said the plan is not to split funding but to increase it.

They said the Government is “failing to fund the NHS and mental health trusts in the first place”.

The officer added the answer is “not to take away more money from the police which are already underfunded”.

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