Mystery over future of changes to police funding machinery

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is "undertaking a period of detailed engagement" over reforms to the police funding formula.  Photo supplied.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd is "undertaking a period of detailed engagement" over reforms to the police funding formula. Photo supplied.
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Reports that changes to the way Lincolnshire Police and other forces are funded have been axed appear at odds with the Government’s actual position.

Claims that Prime Minister Theresa May had told Home Secretary Amber Rudd to put off reforms to the police funding formula were contrary to a Home Office statement which said that “no decisions have been taken”.

Lincolnshire Police has argued for a fairer funding deal since former Chief Constable Neil Rhodes first took office in April 2012.

But Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, admitted that keeping budgets as they are for “urban forces” like the Metropolitan Police in London was “the responsible thing to do”.

Mr Jones said: “There were a number of things in the Conservative Party’s manifesto around the issue of the police funding formula which have been impossible to put through.

“But speaking to colleagues around the country, there’s not enough funding coming into Lincolnshire, although we haven’t got a bottomless pit of cash nationally.

Speaking to colleagues around the country, there’s not enough funding coming into Lincolnshire, although we haven’t got a bottomless pit of cash nationally

Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire

“The responsible thing to do is to not take money away from forces like the Metropolitan Police, even though inflation is going up and the investigations police are having to deal with are getting more complex.”

Mr Jones added that unless extra cash could be found for Lincolnshire Police, it faced a £3million “hole in the budget” for 2018-19 and a £6 million shortfall every year after that.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government is undertaking a period of detailed engagement with policing partners and independent experts on the police funding formula.

“No decisions have been taken and any new proposals will not be implemented without a public consultation.”