Lincolnshire policing ‘suffers again’ after £3 million budget cut announced

Lincolnshire Police chief constable Neil Rhodes with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
Lincolnshire Police chief constable Neil Rhodes with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick.
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A settlement will see a £3 million reduction in Lincolnshire Police’s budget.

The county police said today’s settlement will only further increase pressure on its already stretched budgets and will make it increasingly difficult to maintain current levels of service in the future beyond next year.

In a statement today, Lincolnshire Police said: “Local policing – the bedrock of policing in Britain - has suffered again today. Funding has been taken away from local communities, and instead directed towards the ineffective independent police complaints commission and other national bodies such as the College of Policing.

“Specifically what the grant settlement means for Lincolnshire is a reduction in cash terms of over £3m.

“We continue to urge the Government to urgently review the funding formula and heed the advice of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. HMIC have clearly stated it has concerns about the ability of Lincolnshire Police to maintain its current level of service to the communities of Lincolnshire beyond 2016 and deems us to be at risk. We remain committed to working with the Home Secretary to develop a sustainable solution for Lincolnshire Police and those it serves.”

Last week, Chief Constable Neil Rhodes told the Journal that if budget cuts continue as they are, his police force will become unsustainable.

He told the Journal: “It simply does not make sense to destroy or severely damage a force that is such a good example to others.”

Over the past few weeks the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Police and Crime Panel have all sent letters to the Home Secretary voicing their concerns about the future viability of the Lincolnshire force.

Today’s statement said: “We were heartened by the Home Secretary’s replies to our letters this week. She accepts that we have been at the forefront of change, delivering strong performance whilst using outsourcing and collaboration to drive efficiency and deliver better services for the public. She praised us for our HMIC rating of outstanding for the provision of affordable policing and we have continued to increase the proportion of our officers on the frontline. The Home Secretary agrees that others need to learn from and follow our lead. The Home Secretary also recognises that Lincolnshire Police faces particular financial pressures.”