Connect wins dual police deal to lobby for funds

Two of Britain’s major police bodies have joined forces in appointing Connect Public Affairs to lobby for increased government funding. The Association of Police Authorities (APA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) are eager to restore the share of funding the police receive from central government.

According to Connect account director Andy Sawford, the amount of funding raised from local council tax revenue has doubled since 1995 to 24 per cent. As some councils begin to have their rates capped and the Home Office puts increasing emphasis on financing initiatives to counter terrorism, the bodies want to prevent budget squeezes.

Sawford said the campaign would ‘highlight the potential of a shortfall in funding for police authorities, particularly that police numbers could fall in a general election year’.

He added that the Police Reform Act has placed extra demands on police, such as the introduction of intelligence measures in the wake of the Soham murders.

In addition, police forces face the burden of increasing pension costs as the personnel who joined them in the hiring spree of the 1970s reach pensionable age. An estimated 83 per cent of police budgets go on staffing.

APA policy officer Andrew Honeyman promised a ‘high-profile campaign’. It is hoping to strike a provisional settlement in November on the back of meetings with ministers, MPs and special advisers.

Connect secured the account after a three-way pitch and replaces APCO, which lobbied on behalf of the APA last year.

Connect MD Gill Morris said: ‘We will be imaginative and proactive and we have high hopes for the outcome of the funding settlement.’

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