Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) can keep part of their funding in financial reserves to help manage financial risk and to fund major future costs such as change programmes aimed at improving services to the public. Usable financial reserves are split into resource and capital. Resource reserves are categorised into a general fund to cover unforeseen pressures and earmarked reserves which are each held for a specific purpose. Capital reserves are ring-fenced for capital investment.
As at March 2018, PCCs held over £1.4 billion in usable resource reserves. The public is entitled to high quality information on financial reserves:
these documents provide information on the level of financial reserves held by each PCC for the years 2011 to 2018 (the latest figures available)
the revised financial management code of practice includes guidance the government has provided to PCCs on the more detailed information they should publish on their reserves (see section 7.2.1)
each PCC publishes their reserves strategy on their website setting out their plan for their reserves and how the reserves will be used to improve services to the public