POLICING and criminal justice minister Nick Herbert said this week there will be no extra cash for Lincolnshire Police – and the force must make savings like every other one in the country.
The minister’s remarks came in a TV interview on Tuesday just eight days after he met Lincolnshire Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, who asked for a bigger slice of the national funding pot.
Speaking to the Spalding Guardian yesterday, Mr Rhodes insisted Lincolnshire Police’s “conversation with the minister is not over”.
The Chief Constable heard Mr Herbert’s comments but says Lincolnshire is the lowest funded force per head of population in England and Wales and is less able to deal with across the board cuts.
He said: “I am not surprised by his initial reaction. He knows we are building a very strong and compelling case. This is the beginning of the conversation and not the end of it.
“We are the most effective, most efficient force in the country and there is a limit to how far you can push an organisation like that.
“What we are encouraging Nick Herbert to do is to take a lot more intelligent and structured approach to the police service – and look at the needs of the people of Lincolnshire and the resources of the force rather than simply salami slice it.”
Mr Rhodes is speaking to county MPs and met South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes last week and says he was very supportive.
Lincolnshire Police is on target to save £18.5million but must save another £3.7million.
Mr Rhodes says all of this is being achieved against a background of a “significant reduction” in crime.
He said hot off the press figures show crime in Lincolnshire is down by almost 14 per cent on last year.
Crime detection is running at 27 per cent – on a par with the national average.
Mr Rhodes insists people in communities across Lincolnshire will still see their local officers, PCs and PCSOs, in the streets.
He said the force has a strong connection with the community.
Mr Rhodes continued: “We are committed to always being approachable.
“I would really encourage people to get to know their police officers and PCSOs – they should get to know them by name.”