Policy Details

Charging for Police Services

Dated: 09 Apr 2015

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

POLICY TITLE: Charging for Police Services

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Finance and Resources

AUTHOR: Accountant, Accountancy Services

CONTACT DETAILS: Ext 36307

EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Complete


AIM OF POLICY: To ensure that where a request is made for policing services beyond those which would normally be provided by Northumbria Police, a 'special duty' charge will be made where such services are provided.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: The policy will ensure compliance with Financial Regulations.

REASON FOR POLICY: To ensure compliance with Financial Regulations with regards to special duty charges.


DESCRIPTION OF POLICY:

The policy on charging for police services shall be determined by the Police and Crime Commissioner. Charges shall be made by the Chief Constable within the policy so determined, and all accounts for income due to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner shall be rendered promptly by or in a manner approved by the Chief Finance Officer

If a request is made for policing services beyond those which would normally be provided by Northumbria Police, in accordance with the Policing Plan or any statutory requirements, the request will be considered. A 'special duty' charge will be made where such services are provided.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will annually review the level of these charges, and has provided the Chief Constable with delegated powers to reduce or waive charges to reflect local knowledge and awareness of any political, economic or cultural benefit to the area.

National guidance has been issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) which outlines a structured approach to determining the basis of special duty charges to be levied for charging for police services, and also an assessment tool to determine the category of charge detailed below:

Category 1 - Full Charge

The agreed basis of charge will remain special duty which will be agreed by the Police and Crime Commissioner on an annual basis, i.e. full special duty should apply in all cases where there is a unique or infrequently recurring requirement for a small number of officers or police staff OR a commercial operation requests the provision of a policing service.

Category 2 - No Charge

No charge would be applied in the following scenarios:

If the event falls within the remit of an area command or department policing plan and therefore the request for policing services is not above and beyond that which would usually be provided in the normal course of events.

If the event was on a public highway or an area with unrestricted access to the public.

If the political, economic or cultural benefits to the area are such that no charge should be made.

Category 3 - Reduced/Abated Charge

Notwithstanding the policy on either no or full charge, a reduced charge following negotiation may be applied to events which are either a one-off, or a major recurring event which has a special political, economic or cultural impact. The negotiation of a reduced rate would then take due cognisance of the benefits to the general public.

The basis for negotiation should be the full estimated special duty charge.

The maximum reduction will be 50% of the full estimated special duty charge.

Authorisation

The authorisation levels for the agreement of no charge, or for the negotiation and subsequent agreement of a reduced charge are:

Where the estimated hours of special duty are less than 48 hours for a one off or series of events: Area Commander or Head of Department.

Where the estimated hours of special duty are more than 48 hours for a one off or series of events: An ACC will approve following review by Chief Inspector, Force Resilience Unit.


Monitoring

All agreements of a no charge or a reduced charge should be recorded in writing, be retained centrally (Force Resilience Unit), and be available for future inspection by Internal Audit.

Northumbria Police acknowledges the potential for conflicts of interest where an officer act in the interests of the funding provider, and that allegations may be made that this may breach the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998. Such actions could also affect the balance in terms of operational policing, therefore, careful consideration will be given to each request and all decisions regarding charging for police services will be made on operational grounds.


SOURCE DOCUMENT: ACPO / APCCs Guidance on charging for Police Services.

GROUPS AFFECTED: All staff

ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS: This policy should be viewed by all staff