Minister gives some hope to police in talks over funding

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Lincolnshire Police has 
received an olive branch from the Government in a row over funding after talks with county MPs.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick has been invited to apply for special funding from the Home Office to offset cuts of almost £10.5 million over the next three years.

After a meeting with Policing Minister Mike Penning in London on Tuesday, it was also agreed that Chief Constable Neil Rhodes should become part of a group looking at the future of police financing.

Chief Superintendent Phil Vickers from the East Midlands Operational Support Service said: “It has long been recognised by the communities in Lincolnshire that we get a raw deal in terms of our policing budget.

“We have had support from local MPs, county and district councillors to highlight the unfair funding for Lincolnshire and if there is the possibility of our unique position being recognised, then I think that is positive news.

“There are still things that we can do and are doing to share work with other forces and make use of efficiencies at all levels.

“But the delivery of local neighbourhood policing is always going to be the prime objective of Lincolnshire Police and government funding is critical to that.”

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, who set up the meeting, said: “We have made real progress in securing a fresh commitment to new thinking about funding for Lincolnshire Police.

“I have always fought for a fair deal for Lincolnshire because I want policing that guarantees the safety and security of the people I serve, support for our excellent police officers and a long-term funding solution for Lincolnshire Police which protects us into the future.”

Mr Penning said: “Police reform is working and there is no question of them having the resources to do their important work.

“We have made it easier for the police to do their jobs, but the Government is conducting a fundamental review of the way funding is allocated between force areas.

“This work is ongoing and we will consult with police forces and others in due course.”