Long-term, sustainable police funding needed, says branch chair

The chair of South Wales Police Federation has called for long-term Government funding to allow the Force to make strategic plans to fight crime.

Steve Treharne said the current system encouraged short-term thinking and didn’t give taxpayers the very best value for money.

He said: “Over the last 12 years police funding has been squeezed to the point where we now need huge investment in training, equipment, and our infrastructure.

“In order to get policing somewhere near where we want it to be and the public expects, we need long-term sustainable funding.

Long-term decisions

“This would enable our chief constable and police and crime commissioner to plan ahead and make long-term decisions instead of being expected to formulate plans and strategies bit by bit.

“Short-term funding settlements, like the one we have now, don’t allow for the long-term planning that’s required.”

Steve’s comments come as the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Alun Michael, has called for a fairer funding formula for policing.

Mr Michael described the current system as “unfair and unjust”, and said it placed an increasing burden on local taxpayers rather than the Government.

He was contributing to a discussion alongside Wales’s three other PCCs on the adequacy of funding for policing in the country in front of the cross-party Commons Welsh Affairs Committee.

Mr Michael said there were two problems with the current funding formula.



“The first is it doesn’t compensate for poorer areas or areas which have high challenges in terms of policing and low income,” he said.

“The other one is there has been an incremental shift over the last few years deliberately by central Government to put more of the burden onto the local taxpayer rather than the national exchequer.

“And because not every force has as much ability to raise and to increase its precept that’s really quite an unfair and an unjust way of approaching the arrangements.

“We really need a fairer formula and one that takes proper account of the financial constraints, both in terms of the force’s needs but also in terms of the population on which the precept falls.”

Eleri Thomas, the deputy PCC for Gwent, added there was “a real tension” for forces in setting budgets.


She said: “It’s recognising the resources chief constables require to have an effective forward-thinking police force at the same time as recognising in a cost of living crisis, the affordability to our public.”

She added the high cost of borrowing created big challenges for forces when they were looking to invest in infrastructure, estates, and fleets.

Dafydd Llywelyn, the Dyfed Powys PCC, said that Wales would receive more money if it was to get a Barnett consequential population share for the funding for policing.

The Barnett formula is used by the UK Government to calculate the annual block grants for the Welsh Government as well as the Scottish government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Andy Dunbobbin, the PCC for North Wales, added: “The Barnett consequential, that population share, would be really important.”

Click here to watch the debate.