Assessment Report: Police Funding for England and Wales Statistics

3 June 2021
Last updated:
22 June 2021

Annex 1: About the Statistics

The Statistics

Home Office developed these statistics as a result of casework carried out by OSR on the clarity of police funding changes. This casework focussed on whether claims regarding increases in funding reflected a real or nominal increase. The timing of the casework focussed on changes from the spending review in 2015.

Data Sources and Methods

The Police Funding in England and Wales statistics are published once a year. The statistics are based on several different financial sources. The government funding for police is set out in the annual spending review and this is agreed by the UK Parliament each year. Home Office produces the Police Grant report along with a written ministerial statement which provides wider context on funding information that is not set out in the grant report.

The grant report provides a breakdown of funding paid by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG); funding for national priorities; police capital funding; counter-terrorism funding and the police precept.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) set a local police precept which focuses on funding for local priorities and is collected as part of council tax. This accounts for 34% of total police funding and is set depending on local priorities. The level of police precept is set by each PCC by 1 March. MHCLG sets referendum principles for PCCs in England, which set out the level of increase in tax Band D. The referendum principles mean that if the PCC’s proposed increase is excessive there must be a vote on the matter.

Council tax in Wales is a devolved matter and referendum principles are set by the Welsh Government. In Wales, local authorities are responsible for the setting, collection and enforcement of council tax. PCCs in Wales are not subject to the referendum principles which apply in England when setting their council tax Band D bill levels.

In addition to this, PCCs receive funding from other sources, such as their financial reserves or charging for special police services. For example, charges for providing officers at football matches, festivals and concerts.

Uses and Users

The main uses for these are public scrutiny of police funding by think tanks, economists and policy makers.

We spoke with: think tanks; economists; researchers and policy officials.

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