Police panel says further cuts to county force will be ‘devastating’
The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel has written to the Home Secretary raising its concerns about funding cuts which it says will be ‘devastating’ to the force.
The panel wrote in support of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable’s pleas for a fairer approach to Police funding in the county.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick and Chief Constable Neil Rhodes have written to Theresa May MP to request changes to the funding formula which has hit rural forces such as Lincolnshire hard.
In its letter, signed by Chairman Norman Norris and all members, the Panel states that it is ‘deeply concerned’ that if the current funding formula remains unchanged Lincolnshire Police will be on the edge of viability in 2016/17 and unsustainable the following year.
It points out that the cost of policing per head of population in Lincolnshire is the lowest in the country and in order to make the necessary savings beyond 2016 the Force will need to cut Police Officer and PCSO numbers. It says the impact of this on the level of service offered by Lincolnshire Police to the people of Lincolnshire would be devastating.
The Panel urges the Home Secretary to review the current formula immediately to help to protect small, efficient and highly innovative forces such as Lincolnshire and for her to meet with Mr Rhodes and Mr Hardwick to discuss a viable solution for Lincolnshire.
Mr Norris said: “In this letter we make it perfectly clear that under the current formula the Panel firmly believes that beyond 2017 Lincolnshire Police will simply be unviable. The Force has already made cuts to the point that the only way to go now would be to reduce the number of police officers. This would be devastating to the people of Lincolnshire and is unacceptable.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/lpcp