Countywide call to arms for force cash

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes.
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The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police is leading a united front to ask for more Government cash to fight crime in the county.

Neil Rhodes wants a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May about a budget squeeze that could put Lincolnshire Police effectively out of business in just three years’ time.

Both Mr Rhodes and Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick have claimed that a demand to find savings of more than £10 million a year could put about 236 police officers out of work.

Speaking to the Spalding Guardian after his letter to Mrs May was made public on Monday, Mr Rhodes said: “We’re very proud of delivering a pretty decent service in Lincolnshire. But to take out £10.4 million a year, every year, from our budget is just unsustainable.

“The savings we could make means there’s really nowhere else to go except reducing officer numbers, so both the Commissioner and I have decided to stick our heads above the parapet.”

Mr Hardwick added: “Lincolnshire has to be united on all fronts because we’ve had precious little response from the Home Office about the great risk of us not being able to provide policing at the current level.

“It’s something the Home Office already knows but it’s chosen to ignore our case and, quite frankly, we should be more forceful about it.”

Policing Minister Mike Penning said: “Police reform is working and crime is falling, so there is no question that police will still have the reesources to do their important work.”