MERSEYSIDE Police will be reimbursed more than £1.3million they were forced to spend on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for officers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy received a letter guaranteeing that the money which the force has contributed towards the national stock of PPE for policing since March, amounting to £1.3m from Merseyside, will be reimbursed by the government.
However, an additional £1.1million that the Force had to pay for PPE for their own officers will not be reimbursed.
The Police Commissioner said: “Since the coronavirus epidemic hit the country, Merseyside Police has incurred costs now totalling £4.1m over our normal budget.
“A significant amount of those costs - £1.3m – was contributed by us to help create a national supply of Covid-19 related PPE for the police service across England and Wales.”
“A further £1.1m was spent on purchasing a range of specialist PPE equipment for use locally by Merseyside Police.
“The total cost of the epidemic so far also includes money to pay for officer and staff overtime, new IT equipment and licences required to enable staff to work from home, as well as additional funds to undertake the specialist cleaning of building and vehicles.
“These are costs we had not expected and that could have had a major impact on our very carefully balanced budgets. The letter from the Home Office comes as a big relief. While it is not a promise to pick up the whole bill, it is a guarantee that we will be able to recover all the money we spent contributing towards the national supply of PPE, as well as a significant amount of the supplies we purchased to be used locally.
“I thank the Home Office for listening to me, and my PCC colleagues, and for recognising that it would be hugely detrimental to have expected local police forces to cover these unexpected and potentially disastrous costs.
“As always though, the devil is in the detail. I look forward to receiving more information about exactly what we will receive and how much of the £1.1m for local PPE we will be able to recover.”