Bar Council reaction to Spending Review - tackling crime

5 September 2019

Responding to yesterday's announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Spending Review to increase funding for tackling crime, Richard Atkins QC, Chair of the Bar, said:

"The Chancellor's increase in funding to tackle crime and support the criminal justice system is a step in the right direction and an acknowledgement that cuts made to the justice budget by previous governments went too far. It is encouraging to see the Treasury recognising the need to invest in the entire criminal justice system and not limit additional funding to police recruitment and prison places. Increases in funding in one area have effects which ripple across into other areas. The budget boost for the Ministry of Justice and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is necessary and overdue and although welcome, is a drop in the ocean in budgetary terms and will only go so far in restoring a justice system which is falling apart. We need a longer term vision of how public confidence in tackling crime can be restored."

Ends

Notes to editors:

Spending Review - Tackling Crime:

  • an extra £750 million for policing to begin delivery of the government's commitment to recruit 20,000 additional officers by 2023 (up to 6,000 officers are to be in place by the end of 2020-21). In addition, the government is spending £45 million in 2019-20 to kick start recruitment, bringing in up to 2,000 additional officers this year. The Home Office (HO) will provide further detail in due course on how these officers will be allocated between the territorial police forces, counter-terrorism policing and serious and organised crime;

  • increasing the budget for counter-terrorism policing in line with inflation, including continuing the additional £160 million announced at Budget 2018, which maintains current counter-terrorism capability and protects officer numbers;

  • funding to begin delivery of the government's £2.5 billion commitment to create an additional 10,000 prison places, which forms an important part of the government's wider work to reduce crime;

  • £100 million to increase security in prisons through the introduction of more airport-style security scanners, mobile phone detection and prevention technology, and anti-corruption and intelligence operations;

  • £55 million for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and £80 million for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to support the work of the 20,000 additional police officers and manage the increasing complexity of crime; and

  • additional funding for crucial probation reforms that will help reduce reoffending and improve post-custody supervision.