Bedfordshire Police’s last-ditch plea for Government funding

PCC Kathryn Holloway with the report
PCC Kathryn Holloway with the report

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has sent a last-ditch plea for extra funding to Policing Minister Nick Hurd.

Mrs Holloway has described the Bedfordshire Police Demand and Finance Report 2017 as “the most important document” the force has ever sent to the Government.

Beds Police hopes it may sway ministers to provide extra funding ahead of next month’s Spending Review.

Highlighting the growing gap between police pressures and limited resources, Mrs Holloway said: “I firmly believe that if this shortfall is not met, Bedfordshire Police’s future is unsustainable.”

As evidence to support her case for Bedfordshire Police, the PCC has provided the following statistics :

lAn 11% increase in 999 calls this year.

l16% increase in 101 calls.

l24% increase in calls requiring an immediate response by officers (in the 12 month period from May 2016 to May 2017).

She said: “[This document] provides evidence for the £10 million Bedfordshire Police needs each year to meet a level of demand for its services that has never been seen before.

“Even though I’ve supported the Chief Constable Jon Boutcher in recruiting 96 new police constables ... the force still needs 300 frontline officers at a cost of £8 million – and 80 detectives to meet the demand for investigations, costing a further £2 million.”

Mrs Holloway rejected any merger between Bedfordshire Police and the neighbouring forces of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, arguing that the extra investment would still be necessary.

She said: “The taxpayers of our neighbouring counties are not about to agree to the policing they pay for being sucked into Bedfordshire as a county and most particularly the Luton area, which the [report] has proved absorbs some 40% of all Bedfordshire Police’s total policing resources.”

Crime levels rose in Bedfordshire by 12.2% between April and August 2017, a pattern widely seen across the country.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd is receiving funding reports from every UK police force after a review of the old formula was halted in the wake of the Manchester and London terror attacks.

The Spending Review, which will announce the funding settlement for policing in 2018/19, will take place on November 22.