The South Wales Police Authority budget for 2012/13 is £249m which is a reduction of £8m on the previous year resulting from cuts in central government funding to South Wales Police of £12m.
The police element of council tax has increased by 2p per day 2012/13. This is equal to £8.07 (5%) extra per year for a Band D household, totalling £169.42 per year for a 24 hour, seven days a week police service.
2011/12 was the first of the four-year Comprehensive Spending Review introduced by the Coalition Government, which will see a 20% reduction in the central government resources for policing by 2015.
The majority of these cuts (85%) will fall in the first two years. This is the greatest reduction in police funding for a generation and the rate of cuts is unprecedented.
During the past 12 months, we have had to make some tough decisions in order to make policing in South Wales more efficient. This has resulted in a reduction in our workforce by nearly 400 staff and we are continuing to systematically review every aspect of our service to ensure that it provides value for money. Our transformational programme will ensure we continuously improve and place the public at the centre of our services.
We fully appreciate that everyone is facing tough times, with ongoing financial difficulties and we are therefore determined that for every £1 of council tax increase, we will find £2 of efficiency savings. The majority of the burden of cuts in funding will be met by our Value for Money plan which has received independent assurance. We have realised that the total gap of £55m over the planning period cannot be met by cuts alone and a modest increase in police precept is necessary to ensure we can continue to provide an effective police service.
The Welsh Government have recognised the value of a local visible policing presence in our neighbourhoods and will be directly funding 206 additional Police Community Support Officers for the South Wales Police area from next year and we have already started the recruitment for these important roles.