Lincolnshire’s chief constable in plea for cash

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CHIEF Constable Neil Rhodes met a government minister on Monday and asked for a bigger slice of the national funding pot for fighting crime.

Lincolnshire Police has to make cutbacks amounting to £21million .

It is on target to save £18million but the £3million deficit – equal to 70 police officers – could see cuts to frontline policing.

Mr Rhodes met the minister for policing and criminal justice, Nick Herbert, in Grantham.

He said: “The important thing from the meeting was that we were able to have it face to face and Nick Herbert goes away from here with a really clear picture of the position Lincolnshire is in.”

Lincolnshire Police is the lowest funded force per head of population in England and Wales – it costs £171 per head, per year compared to a national average of £206.

Mr Rhodes said a force that already delivers policing at the lowest cost per head will struggle with cuts – and talks with Mr Herbert focused on Lincolnshire having “a much fairer share of the national police funding pot even if that pot is going to shrink”.

Previously, Mr Rhodes said some forces that are less able to bear across the board percentage cuts and it’s not right that the gap should be bridged by council tax payers.

Lincolnshire currently has 1,120 officers.

It has already lost 70 officers and must shed another 20 or more for each of the next three years.

Lincolnshire was recently singled out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary as a force that will not be able to deliver an effective service in the face of big financial cuts.

The force made history by transferring many of its office staff to private security company G4S – a company which faced national derision for its failure to supply enough security guards for the Olympics.

But Mr Rhodes says there “has been a competent and capable start in our 
relationship”.