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News Report Page 3 of 12
Publication Date:-
2022-02-25
 
News reports located on this page = 2.

Police Commissioner sets budget to help Merseyside Police rebuild in the year ahead

MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner has set and approved a budget which will allow Merseyside Police to continue to rebuild during 2022/23. The Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, held a special public budget meeting with Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, at her Offices, on Mather Avenue, at which the financial plans for the year ahead were considered and approved.

Over the last 2 years, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable have accelerated the force's recruitment drive to bring 665 new Police Officers into the force; well ahead of Government targets. By setting a balanced budget for the next 12 months, the Commissioner and Chief Constable will be able to maintain those new Officers and protect Police staff and PCSO jobs, while putting the force in the strongest possible position for the year ahead.

In order to balance the budget, the force have will need to make a further ₤3m of cuts during the next 12 months. The budget also includes a small increase to the Police 'precept' the part of the local Council Tax ring-fenced for local policing. This came after the Government announced last December they were expecting Police and Crime Commissioners to raise the precept to generate funds for their local Police service. The Commissioner took this proposal to local people during a 3 week consultation, with 59% of respondents and the Region's Police and Crime Panel giving their support.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:- "After a decade of austerity,1 of my main priorities is to help Merseyside Police rebuild and grow and that is exactly what this budget does. By setting a balanced budget for the year ahead, Merseyside Police can maintain the 665 new Police Officers we have recruited in the last 2 years, while also protecting staff and PCSO jobs. While I was very reluctant to ask taxpayers to contribute a little extra to support their Police service, I'm grateful to have had the support of local people through my consultation and the Police and Crime Panel to protect our Police service. There are still significant challenges ahead; this budget includes ₤3m of cuts to be made in the next 12 months and we predict a further ₤13.7m of savings will have to be found by 2026/27. Merseyside Police is also still 456 Officers short of the Officers it had back in 2010. I am focused on doing everything possible to help Merseyside Police to go back to its former strength. I will continue to lobby Ministers at every chance I get to provide the funding for those missing Officers, and I will also work to secure extra grants and funding for our Region wherever I can. With all the challenges ahead, setting a balanced budget has been no easy task, but by doing so we have put Merseyside Police in the best possible position to keep our communities safe in the year ahead."
 


Ofcom plans crackdown on fake number fraud

UK phone companies will make it harder for scammers to use their networks, under a range of measures proposed by Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. Offcom claims almost 45 million people in the UK were targeted by scam calls and texts last summer and Ofcom has been supporting phone companies and working with other organisations on new ways to combat this threat. Ofcom is proposing strengthened rules and guidance to combat number spoofing. All telephone networks involved in the transmission of a call will be expected to block numbers that are clearly spoofed. This rule would apply to all phone companies, ensuring the protection applies to millions of people. Spoofed numbers can be identified in a number of ways. Examples include calls originating from abroad that do not have a valid caller ID, using a number that does not meet the UK's 10 or 11 digit format, and calls appearing to be from numbers that are already on Ofcom's:- 'Do Not Originate list.' The guidance on blocking calls from abroad that falsely use a UK number is based on an initiative developed by industry, which some providers have already implemented voluntarily. 1 of these is TalkTalk, which previously stated it had seen a 65% reduction in complaints about scam calls since it introduced this measure.

Offcom's Press Office said:- "We are proposing strengthened rules and guidance to combat number spoofing. All telephone networks involved in the transmission of a call will be expected to block numbers that are clearly spoofed. This rule would apply to all phone companies, ensuring the protection applies to millions of people. We are also proposing new guidance to help companies prevent scammers from accessing valid phone numbers. This sets out clear expectations for phone companies to make sure they run 'know your customer checks on business customers, as part of the steps they should follow to stop their numbers from being misused by fraudsters. We are also proposing new guidance to help companies prevent scammers from accessing valid phone numbers. Ofcom allocates millions of telephone numbers, usually in large blocks, to telecoms companies. These companies can then transfer the numbers to other businesses or individuals. All phone companies are expected to take reasonable steps to stop their numbers from being misused, but these efforts can vary. Our new guide sets out clear expectations for phone companies to make sure they run 'know your customer checks on business customers. These could involve checking the Companies House register, fraud risk databases and the FCA's Financial Services Register to uncover information that may indicate a high risk of misuse by the customer seeking to use phone numbers. Phone companies should also act to prevent any further potential misuse; this may include:- suspending the number and reporting evidence of fraudulent activity to law enforcement."

Huw Saunders, Ofcom's Director of Network Infrastructure and Resilience said:- "The threat posed by scammers has grown significantly in recent years, and the sophisticated tactics used by these criminals can have devastating consequences for victims. We're taking action so phone companies have stronger systems in place to disrupt scams. While there is no silver bullet that will end the scourge of scam calls completely, we're working with industry on how we can use technology to make it as difficult as possible to reach people."
 

 
      
 
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