Police finance

Police forces in England and Wales are each given funding from three main sources.

These sources are the Home Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government OR the Welsh Assembly Government, and the police precept component of local council tax.  However in 2013/14 and 2014/15 the funding to the police that in previous years was paid via the Local Government Finance Report issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government will now be paid via the Home Office Police Grant Report. This has changed because the police are outside the Business Rates Retention Scheme.

In addition to government grants and police precept, Police and Crime Commissioners also generate income from charging for policing commercial events (this includes sporting and entertainment but excludes charity and some small community events) and from investments (both interest and dividends).

Here are:

  • details of how much money government has given to police forces since 1995
  • an explanation of how the Home Office allocates funding between forces

Historical police revenue funding

Police allocation formula

The government uses the police allocation formula to distribute the main police grant.  

Police allocations 2013-14

Community safety fund

In 2013-14, in addition to Home Office Police Main Grant and other specific Home Office police grants (such as Counter Terrorism Policing Grant), Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will receive funding from the new Home Office Community Safety Fund (CSF). The CSF will be un-ringfenced and PCCs will be able to use it to commission services that help tackle drugs and crime, reduce re-offending, and improve community safety in their force area.

Given the introduction of the CSF, the vast majority of existing Home Office drugs, crime and community safety funding streams will end in March 2013 (i.e. will not receive direct funding from the Home Office). This includes:

  • Drug Interventions Programme (DIP)
  • DIP Drug Testing Grant
  • Community Safety Partnership Funding
  • Youth Crime and Substance Misuse Prevention activities
  • Positive Futures
  • Communities against Gangs, Guns and Knives
  • Ending Gang and Youth Violence programme
  • Community Action Against Crime: Innovation Fund
  • Safer Future Communities

Table 1 at the annex sets out the national levels of drugs, crime and community safety funding that the Home Office is providing in 2012-13. These funding streams will no longer receive direct funding from the Home Office from end March 2013.

Financial management code of practice

On 16 January 2012, the financial management code of practice (for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables) was laid in parliament. The Code provides clarity around the financial governance arrangements within the police service in England and Wales and builds on the Policing Protocol issued by means of the Policing Protocol Order 2011.

The written ministerial statement was issued to accompany the guidance.

The financial management code of practice (for police authorities and chief constables), published in 2000 remains useable until November 2012.

Police value for money

A high-level working group communication on police value for money was sent to all forces and former police authorities on 21 April 2011 from the former Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice.

This communication contains information covering the new policing value for money unit, as well as updates on procurement, the information systems improvement strategy (ISIS), support services and transformational change. 

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