Penned-in Penning forced to backtrack over police funding blunder

Mike Penning, in Parliament yesterday.

Mike Penning, in Parliament yesterday.

It is said that pride comes before a fall, and Conservative policing minister Mike Penning has just taken a nasty tumble.

Only last week, he told us that the current model for police funding was “complex, opaque, and out of date”. What a shame that the model with which he proposed to replace it turned out to be rubbish.

“If we want policing in this country to be the best it can be, then we must reform further, and that includes putting police on a long-term, sustainable footing,” he told us all last week. How those words must haunt him now!

A Tory policing minister has been forced to make a grovelling apology after botching plans to reform police funding.

Mike Penning admitted the Home Office had made serious errors in calculating how much funding would be doled out to regional police forces.

The apology comes amid bitter controversy over the planned changes, with six Police and Crime Commissioners threatening the Home Office with legal action over fears they are set to lose millions of pounds in Government support.

Sorry - THIS is Michael Penning in Parliament yesterday. The other image was Dexter Jettster from Star Wars. It's an easy mistake to make, especially with Mr Pennings 'Movember' moustache. Dexter's information was more accurate, though.

Sorry – THIS is Michael Penning in Parliament yesterday. The other image was Dexter Jettster from Star Wars. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially with Mr Pennings ‘Movember’ moustache.
Dexter’s information was more accurate, though.

Penning told MPs: “I am sad to say there was a statistical error made in the data that has been used. While this data does not change the principle that was consulted on, the allocation provided to the forces was never indicative. We recognise this has caused a great deal of concern to police forces around the country.

“I and the government regret this mistake and I apologise to the house. I also apologise to the 43 authorities that I wrote to during the extended consultation period, as part of the funding formula review.”

He added that the planned reforms, intended to take effect during 2016/17 would now be delayed.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz , who asked an urgent question in the House of Commons, described the situation as a “shambles”.

He said 31 out of 43 police forces would lose money as a result of the error, compared with a third under the current formula.

Mr Vaz said an independent panel should be established to look again at the issue, adding: “More importantly (including people) able to count and understand mathematics – unlike some officials in the Home Office.

Source: Tory minister forced to make humiliating apology over police funding ‘omnishambles’ – Mirror Online

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9 thoughts on “Penned-in Penning forced to backtrack over police funding blunder

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      While I agree, your choice of language is unwelcome. Please don’t swear on this site.

  1. casalealex

    Another apology! Shamology!

    Apologies. Do they mean anything when they are said out of habit or forced?

    Too often politicians make ‘mistakes’, and due to the furore they cause, the politician is then forced to make an ‘apology’. However, it is only a word, which does not in any way negate the stress and anguish of those who are affected by the ‘reform’.
    Sometimes, I wonder if they make a statement regarding changes to people’s lives, which they know will be controversial, just to test the water, cos if it is not accepted by the people, all they have to do is ‘apologise’.

  2. Roy Beiley

    The Home Office must be a real fun place to work in. Imagine having to see Teresa May swish past each morning and then Penning looking over your shoulder as you fiddle with your spreadsheet. I bet no one thought of having the formula tested to see what results it produced before copying it to a flash disk and giving it to Penning. Simple and obvious safeguards. Obviously poor IT procedures at Home Office.Remember when (was it SERCO) who claimed for all those offenders who were never actually monitored.

  3. Daniel

    More than likely, this climbdown is a result of the Government realising they need the police forces in the UK onside, given the protests of recent weeks being an early indication of the trouble brewing on the streets of the UK, as a result of ideological austerity!
    The initial “consultation” was to see how much they could get away with cutting the police, but with the PCCs threatening legal action, they’ve had to revise their plans.

    Or am I just overly suspicious of the actions of this shower of millionaires running the show?

  4. David Bacon

    The tories used to be the law’n’order party. But with the cuts slicing a huge swathe through police numbers – an added danger to the public, one can’t expect this shambolic, but cruel government to get anything right. Or perhaps they are getting things right – their intention is to wreck the public sector.

  5. Guy Ropes

    An anachronism within the Police Service is ‘The Long Service (and used to include ‘Good Conduct’) Medal. This is dished out to anyone who manages to serve 22 years who can then wear the ribbon on their uniform. The cost of this tat is about, unbelievably, £250,000 pa. (includes snazzy presentation case). When I was last arrested I asked those who nabbed me if they were looking forward to receiving it. Their enthusiasm was almost infectious – and they each had about 16 years to go before they copped. I was curious as to how they each had a (different to LSaGC)) ribbon on their jackets. “Ah, that was the medal that every officer was awarded if they were serving at the time of the Queen’s jubilee”. Wonder what that total cost was? Reminiscent of early explorers in Africa who took shiny baubles with them to placate the natives and keep them on side. I’ve seen no indication that these items – ripe for culling – are to be dispensed with. Every little helps.

  6. roybeiley

    Dangle a medal and the raison d’etre of policing becomes obscure. What baffles me is despite the cuts being made to police budgets, the police federation’s dislike for Theresa May and all the dire warnings being aired by Met Commisioner and other Chief Constables, when students organise a rally to protest, the police are more than ready to don the riot gear and crack a few heads to protect the Establishment.

  7. Roy Beiley

    I wonder how much the Paris atrocity will focus minds. Having a country which is ‘debt free” but which is an unsafe place to live/work in does not appeal to me and I would suspect a vast majority of the population. Fiddling while Rome burns seems an appropriate analogy.

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