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Police forces in England and Wales are emerging from a period of financial pressure. They are responding to evolving crime threats including digital crime, county lines drug dealing and serious violence.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has reported that the police have responded well to these challenges. However, they have raised continued concerns about the resourcing of police forces and called for fundamental reform of police governance which facilitates better collaboration at a regional and national level. These concerns have been shared by several stakeholders and commentators.

In September 2019 the previous Johnson Government committed to undertake a “formal review of the powers, capabilities, governance and funding” needed by police services. The new Johnson Government has committed to establishing a Royal Commission on the criminal justice system. It is not clear to what extent the Commission will look at the governance and funding of police services. It is also not clear if/ when the review committed to last September will be launched. 

On the 23 January 2020 the Government announced the 2020/2021 police funding settlement which increased the funding available for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales from £12.1 billion in 2019/20 to a provisional £13.1 billion in 2020/21.

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