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Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner given extra cash by Government to pay for 30 additional officers this year

An extra £2.5million has been secured by Lincolnshire Police to boost officer numbers for the next two years.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones was successful in applying for an additional £1.8 million from the Government in the form of a Special Grant.

About £400,000 more in council tax revenue, plus £370,000 from police savings, will be handed to Chief Constable Bill Skelly to spend both this year and next.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly of Lincolnshire Police.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly of Lincolnshire Police.

Mr Skelly said: "I am delighted that as a result of this extra funding we will be able to recruit 30 officers later this year.

"This is above what we were expecting and allows us to strengthen the officer numbers as the types of crime in our county become more complex and challenging.

"Our original financial position earlier this year meant that we had to make some savings and these processes are now complete.

"So I am really pleased that the Special Grant will enable us to invest in tools that help to prevent crime and provide an even better response to the public."

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo by Martin Birks.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo by Martin Birks.

Just three months ago, Mr Skelly warned that between 40 to 50 police officer posts, more than 30 PCSOs and 30 police staff posts would be lost before the end of March 2020.

In spite of an 11 per cent rise in the police precept, bringing an extra £5.5million into police coffers, and the use of more than £5million worth of reserves, staff reductions would be made to plug a £3.2million budget gap.

Mr Jones said: "I was always confident that we could secure extra funding for this year and I am delighted to be able to make the cash available to the Chief Constable.

"The extra money will enable me to fund vital frontline officers, as well as some innovative and effective projects that will cut offending, keep communities safer, reduce the number of victims and improve the effectiveness of the force."

PCC Marc Jones and Chief Constable Bill Skelly. Photo supplied.
PCC Marc Jones and Chief Constable Bill Skelly. Photo supplied.

Altogether, an extra £2.57million can be spent on policing Lincolnshire this year, taking the total budget available to the Chief Constable and PCC for policing and victims services from £117million in 2016/17 to £128million this year.

But although this shows nearly a ten per cent increase over the last three years, both the PCC and Mr Skelly are to push for more money from the Home Office.

"There is no doubt that Lincolnshire still faces some long-term financial challenges, and costs have risen too, leaving a significant gap between current spending and the available budget which we continue to work on," Mr Jones said.

"Therefore, we cannot rest on our laurels and I will be spending the coming months working hard to persuade those in Westminster that a new funding formula is necessary to ensure Lincolnshire gets its fair share of income in the years ahead."

Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo by Martin Birks.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo by Martin Birks.

In a Force Management Statement published in June 2018, Mr Skelly warned that unless a fairer funding formula was devised by Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Policing Minister Nick Hurd, Lincolnshire would face a "serious degradation of service".

But with the extra money for policing, both officer and PCSO recruitment, two more advanced digital forensics unit staff, four additional offender management posts, improved protection for protect children and vulnerable adults and a better wellbeing programme for police staff can all be paid for.

Mr Skelly said: "I, alongside the PCC, will continue to fight for a fairer deal for Lincolnshire which has historically been under-funded and we will do our utmost to make sure that policing in the county receives the money which allows us to keep the people here in Lincolnshire safe."


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