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Funding agreed for police projects
POLICE and Crime Commissioners in the South West are to receive government funding of about £1.6m for innovative projects.
The largest award from Home Office funding is almost £1m to transform the use and storage of digital imaging evidence in Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and Avon and Somerset.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, wrote to commissioners last November to let them know she was launching an Innovation Fund totalling £50m per year from 2014/15. To set the ball rolling, a fund of £20m was made available in the current year. Mrs May said the money would be awarded for innovative bids that enhanced regional collaboration.
After consultations between the commissioners and chief constables of the five regional constabularies – Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset, and Devon and Cornwall – it was agreed that three joint bids would be submitted.
These are for regional forensic services collaboration, command and control software for tri-force specialist operations in Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire, and transforming the use and storage of digital imaging evidence in Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and Avon and Somerset.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Commissioners in the South West are pleased to see money coming into the region from the Government, although it is important to point out that the Home Office is ‘top slicing’ our budgets to finance the Innovation Fund and other initiatives in future years.
“All the commissioners in this region will be working hard to ensure that future grants from the Home Office Innovation Fund are at least equivalent to the money which we will be required to contribute to the central pot.
“In my Police and Crime Plan I said that savings would need to be made through regional collaboration.
“So the ability to access these central funds will enhance the speed at which collaboration savings can be made.
“The convergence of information technology across our region will enhance our capability to operate efficiently and effectively.”
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