Matt Baggott welcomes extra £245m for police

Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Justice Minister David Ford Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Justice Minister David Ford welcomed the extra funding

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Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said extra funding for the PSNI will allow it to "keep up the momentum" in the fight against terrorism.

The British government is giving police an extra £200m over four years, while the Executive is providing £45m.

"Importantly for me this a four-year plan," Mr Baggott said.

"After years of change and difficulty, we now have the ability to plan into the long-term and sustain all that is good."

He added: "The money will be spent on investigation, on more detectives, on more equipment, transport, air support, in sustaining our street presence in neighbourhoods.

"All those things are built into a very complex and very thorough business plan, but this will keep the momentum going.

"We have been given in this, money to deal with the unexpected."

However, the chairman of the NI Police Federation said more PSNI officers were needed in addition to any extra funding.

"We are languishing at around 7,000 front-line full-time officers and the threat level now is worse than it was in 1998," Terry Spence said.

"So on the basis of the fact that in 1998 we had 13,000 officers, you can see we are already under-resourced."

Justice Minister David Ford and Mr Baggott had made a formal request for the funding.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson said the coalition had always made clear it would protect its citizens.

"We are honouring the agreement reached on the devolution of policing and justice and going beyond it by agreeing an additional £199.5m over the next four years.

"We are doing this despite the unprecedented pressures on the public finances."

Under resourced

Funding for the PSNI comes primarily from the Department of Justice.

  • The cash will come in four tranches
  • £57.1m in 2011-12
  • £53.3m in 2012-13
  • £62.4m in 2013-14
  • £26.7m in 2014-15

However, the Hillsborough Agreement said that in exceptional circumstances, money could also be accessed from the treasury reserve.

The extra money has been welcomed by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and Justice Minister Mr Ford.

'Effective strategies'

Mr Wilson said it would provide the PSNI with the opportunity to "plan effective strategies on a long-term basis against the security threat".

Mr Ford said he had worked closely with the chief constable "to ensure that the needs of Northern Ireland are recognised in London".

"It is particularly significant that this funding provides four-year certainty and demonstrates a long-term intent to address the problems we face," he added.

PSNI The police will be given another £245m to combat the dissident terror threat

"That long term approach is not confined to policing - it is vital that we work with communities to address and resolve the problems they face.

"Those problems cannot be neatly labelled as justice issues alone, and we need to build on the work being done to develop a wider partnership across government as a matter of urgency."

The additional funding has also been welcomed by the acting chairman of the Policing Board, Brian Rea.

"The chief constable made a very strong case for these monies and it is welcome news that the government have now confirmed that the additional bid for just under £200m will be made available to PSNI over the next four years.

"It is also welcome that the Executive has proposed a further £45m over four years in the draft budget."

The SDLP's Dominic Bradley, chairman of the board's Resources and Improvement Committee, said it would be "monitoring closely" how the money was used "to ensure that the public get the best possible protection and value for money".

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