Samuel Kasumu, the former Boris Johnson Advisor and Conservative London mayoral hopeful, is calling for police forces to be given a multi-year funding settlement, similar to the NHS, in order to improve planning, performance, and efficiency.
In the new wide-ranging report, Time for Action – A comprehensive plan for tackling crime in the capital, Samuel Kasumu identifies a lack of long-term planning for the failure of police forces to adapt to the changing nature of crime.
At one point, the nation’s 43 police constabularies were using a total of 2000 separate IT services. There is still no single nationwide police IT system, which has hindered the ability to work across forces to tackle cross border crime including county lines drug trafficking. Home Office analysis showed that Police and Crime Commissioners were spending almost a quarter of their overall budgets on goods and services with third party suppliers, without benefiting from collaborative procurement.
Kasumu said, “The closer we get to the next general election the more we will hear headline grabbing promises around policing and crime.
“However, to make lasting change we need to have some honest conversations about how policing can be delivered more efficiently and with more security for police leaders to plan for the future. Tackling crime is not just about police numbers.”
Kasumu’s ‘Time for Action’ report found that though overall crime had decreased significantly over time from 19.7 million reported crimes a year in 1995 to 9.4 million a year in 2022, it remains concerningly high and persistently correlated with inequalities.
The overall impact of crime has also increased due to the nature of offences changing. Sexual offences and fraud, increased from 52,342 and 500,225 in 2012 to 99,715 and 936,276 in 2022 respectively.
Other key findings in ‘Time for Action – A comprehensive plan for tackling crime in the capital’:
- The current police funding formula adversely affects areas that has seen the largest population growth, as it draws on data that is a minimum of nine years out of date and often incomplete.
- The population in London has grown by 7.7 percent between 2011 and 2021, compared with 3.7 percent in Yorkshire and the Humber and 1.4 percent in Wales, yet the data and formula used to allocate funding has not changed.
- A survey of Metropolitan Police personnel showed that less than half of respondents felt they had technology to use that makes their job easier, an issue which is likely to be exacerbated by the influx of new recruits.
- Forces with less than 4000 officers were amongst the most ineffective yet attempts to rationalise forces in any way have been curtailed due to the political ramifications.
- It was estimated that savings generated through potential back-office mergers (including IT and HR) would amount to £70 million in one year, with additional productivity gains of up to £250 million being realised in subsequent years. These savings could be re-invested in more frontline police officers.
The report has been released alongside a new platform focused on highlighting policies that would improve outcomes for the country over the long term, instead of short-term initiatives designed to garner headlines. Samuel Kasumu and his London mayoral campaign team believe that the new initiative, Future-proof Politics, will help to challenge policy makers into making better decisions focused on the long-term.
Kasumu said, “We are launching Future-proof Politics because for too long the political class has focused on short-term objectives to gain or hold onto power.
“There is not sufficient space given to long-term thinking and as a result we find ourselves in a spiral of stagnation on so many fronts. This stagnation is being felt in housing, productivity levels, international competitiveness and more. When I put myself forward to be a London mayoral candidate, my objective was to run on a platform focused on securing a better future.
“Not everyone was comfortable with that. Now that the race is over, Future-proof Politics will be the platform that continues to give a voice to those most interested in doing what is right for future generations.”