• David Williams

Let’s talk about police funding

Updated: Apr 17

Funding for Lincolnshire’s Police Force has been widely recognised as being inadequate for years now.

As the policing inspectorate said in their last report for Lincolnshire: “the low funding base for the force means that it consistently struggles to provide as effective a service as better funded forces”

…which is all of them!

The Government itself has promised a review of the police funding formula for a number of years now, with the can being constantly kicked down the road.

Even when new funding is available, for example to increase the number of police officers by 20,000 (barely making up for the reduction in numbers over the past 10 years) it tends to be awarded proportionately so that those forces at the bottom of the funding league (i.e. Lincolnshire) only get their share of the uplift, meaning Lincolnshire still gets left behind.

In the meantime, PCCs will proudly announce success in securing additional funding. But most of this is for one off payments which do nothing to secure the long term future of the force or help in medium to long term planning.

Worse still, there is a tendency to be grateful to the government for awarding these one off funding increases rather than banging the table insisting that it’s a fair share that is needed for forces such as Lincolnshire.

This is simply not good enough.

While it is obviously unrealistic to be promising to make Westminster pay (will that claim be the same when a labour government is in power?) it is absolutely the case that the PCC should be unrelenting in holding the government to account in its pledge to 'levelling up' across the country.

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