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Northumbria Police Authority

It is the duty of Northumbria Police Authority to ensure that Northumbria Police functions. That means providing officers with all the tools they need to carry out their duties: everything from pens to police cars. But there is more to it than that. The police authority is also responsibile for setting the force's policing priorities for the year ahead after listening to the views of the public.

To do so, the police authority regularly consults with the public to find out exactly what people think of the way their area is policed and which crimes they think local police officers should be concentrating on.

The police authority then uses this information to put together a formal Policing Plan which sets out policing priorities for the year ahead and which respons to the needs of communities. The performance of Northumbria police is monitored to ensure that the priorities laid out in the Policing Plan are being met.

The Policing Plan is contained in the police authority's Local Policing Summary, which is published every summer. This also contains details of how Northumbria Police has performed in the past year, how they intend to improve performance, how they compare with other police forces, and how the police authority and Northumbria Police aim to deliver Best Value.

The police authority is also responsible for setting and monitoring an annual police budget of more than £200 million and in deciding how it will be spent. Most of the police authority's budget comes in the form of government grants, but around £18 million is raised locally.

The police auhtority is responsible for ensuring that local policing services are accountable to local people. Decisions on policing policy, procurement and other major issues are taken by the police authority's 17 members - nine local councillors and eight independent mebers. They meet ten times a year to discuss policing issues, agree future policies, agree on spending, and discuss ways of improving the wider service.