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I will make some progress, then take some further interventions in a moment.
Supporting policing is not just about money; the police chiefs I have met have also consistently raised concerns about, for example, their officers’ welfare. That is why there will be more support for frontline officers, with a new national wellbeing centre of excellence. We will also help forces to identify mental health issues earlier with psychological screening, so that officers can access support and, where appropriate, stay in work.
The impact of next year’s funding increase will be immense. Forces will be able to continue to recruit and fill crucial capability gaps. They will be able to prevent more crime and deliver better outcomes for victims. We will work with PCCs and chief constables to make the most of this funding settlement. We are asking them to use the extra investment to address four priority areas next year. First, they should continue efficiency savings. Forces must see beyond their own boundaries and continue to join up to get better procurement deals and drive more benefits from shared services. Secondly, they should resolve the shortfall in detective numbers identified by Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary and fire and rescue services. We will work with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to support forces in meeting this challenge. Thirdly, they should continue improvements in productivity, with a view to delivering £50 million of productivity savings in 2019-20. That will include the smarter use of data and improved digital capabilities, including mobile working, where appropriate. Finally, I expect all forces to respond effectively to the threat from serious and organised crime. This is an area that cannot and must not be ignored by anyone. I have delivered on my own promise to the police, and I now expect them to respond to the challenge that we have set them, as they did so well last year.