Chief constable fears Leicestershire Police could lose up to £700,000 a year if Government’s proposed new funding formula comes into effect

Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole EMN-151020-122506001
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole EMN-151020-122506001
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Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole has warned the force’s policing budget could be cut by up to £700,000 a year if Government proposals go ahead.

Earlier this year the Government reviewed the existing formula it uses to decide how much money it allocates to all 43 forces in England and Wales every year.

It’s now consulting on proposals to use a different mechanism to allocate funding which, if approved, could see Leicestershire Police lose up to £700,000 a year.

The decision whether to adopt the new funding formula is set to be made next month, when the Government is also expected to announce further cuts to policing budgets which could require Leicestershire Police to make further cuts in its budget of between 25 per cent and 40 per cent.

Mr Cole said: “We’re currently assessing the precise implications and trying to understand why we’d lose out when other forces, with similar demand profiles and demographics, would get extra funding.”

The force will respond formally to the consultation by the end of this month.

The force, which operates on a budget of about £170m a year, has made tens of millions of pounds in savings in recent years, losing hundreds of officers as a resullt of budget cuts.

Cost-cutting changes to the way policing is delivered to the people of the Melton borough came into effect in February, with Melton now forming part of the wider Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Policing Area.

There was some better news for Leicestershire Police this week after it was given ‘good’ grades for the second year in a row by Government watchdogs.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) published findings of inspections assessing police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy throughout England and Wales.

It praised Leicestershire Police for its commitment to neighbourhood policing, sound financial management, planning for the future and collaboration with other forces and organisations.

Deputy chief constable Roger Bannister welcomed the findings but added: “We’ll strive to maintain the standards highlighted by HMIC but this will prove challenging against a backdrop of ever-tightening financial constraint.”