Leicestershire’s police chiefs criticise Government funding formula proposals

Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole EMN-150311-132732001
Leicestershire Police chief constable Simon Cole EMN-150311-132732001
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Leicestershire’s chief constable and the county’s police and crime commissioner have described proposed changes to police funding as “unwelcome, ill-thought through and lacking in robustness.”

The Government has been consulting on changes to the funding formula which calculates how much each force in England and Wales is given for policing by Central Government.

The new plans would see Leicestershire’s budget cut by a further £700,000 per year, equating to the loss of about 15 police officer posts.

The current funding model allocates £101 per head of population in Leicestershire, which is already significantly lower (by five percent) than the national average.

The new funding formula plans propose to calculate the share of funds for each force by using four ‘indicators’ which chief constable Simon Cole and police and crime commissioner Sir Clive Loader say “are not robust”.

In their joint response to the consultation, which ends on Friday, the pair urge the Government to re-think the proposals, stating: “We do not want to suffer the consequences of having an ill-thought through funding model imposed early.

“The indicators are not an adequate representation of new and emerging crime types and certainly do not capture the work carried out by police forces nationally around threat, risk and harm.

“By using only four different indicators, the formula cannot accurately reflect the very complex mix of demand for both crime and non-crime policing services”.

Today (Tuesday, November 3) Mr Cole and three other chief constables will give evidence about the proposed changes to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Later this month, it’s anticipated the amount of grant funding to be shared between forces could be further cut by between 25 per cent and 40 per cent when the Government announces its Comprehensive Spending Review.

Mr Cole has warned hundreds of police officer/staff posts could be lost if the force’s budget is reduced by between £26m and £41m.