Public given power to influence police budget in online simulator

 

Posted on 4th November 2011

Residents in Derbyshire are being given the chance to put themselves in the shoes of the decision makers with the launch of a police budget simulator.

The interactive tool is now available on Derbyshire Police Authority’s website and has been designed to provide an innovative and educational way for the public to voice their opinions on policing priorities and learn more about how their decisions will affect the community.

Police Authority members are responsible for setting the budget every year and must decide not only the proportion of the council tax bill to be allocated to policing but also how this funding should be spread across its resources and operational departments.

The budget simulator enables residents to momentarily put themselves at the helm of the police budget and decide where to spend Derbyshire’s £170.31m funding.

Users are presented with a range of operational areas including local policing, roads policing, intelligence, dealing with the public and investigative support and must decide whether to increase or decrease investment according to last year’s figures and by how much. The programme highlights any overspend so that users must adjust spending elsewhere in order to remain within budget. 

Philip Hickson, chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “Setting the budget is never an easy task but next year is obviously significantly more challenging given the financial circumstances we find ourselves in with less funding and ultimately less money to invest in resources.

“The budget simulator is a great opportunity for residents to take part in the process by having their say on the way policing is funded and by outlining their personal priorities for the county but it also gives them a sense of the difficult decisions we face in reality. Unfortunately our budget is finite and if we want to increase our investment in one department, inevitably it will impact on another area.  

“Derbyshire Police Authority is always keen to understand public expectations of policing and which service areas it would prioritise to make its communities safer. We will consider all the feedback received during the exercise, along with the results of the Have Your Say events in the summer, and will use all this information to help decide next year’s budget, which will be set in February.”

Residents can take part in the budget simulator by visiting http://policeauthority.derbyshire.police.uk/Homepage.aspx|   and clicking on Budget Simulator.

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Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair, 01283 821012