Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has today called for fairer funding for the county force.
The National Audit Office released a financial sustainability report for police forces in England and Wales earlier this month, looking at the pressures on forces since 2010/11 and at how effective the current funding system is at ensuring the financial stability and sustainability of police forces.
Mr Mold said this national report has highlighted the challenges facing policing, with increasing demand for services and complexity of issues at a time when central funding to forces is reducing.
He said total funding for the police service in this county – which is made up of a grant from central government and funds raised locally through the council tax precept - has reduced by 14 per cent between the financial years 2010/11 and 2018/19.
The central government grant has reduced by 29 per cent over that period which means in cash terms, Northamptonshire Police received £12.6m less in government grants in 2018/19 than in 2010/11.
The sustained reduction in central funding since 2010/11 led Mr Mold to increase the council tax precept in the current financial year so he could make a significant investment in operational policing in Northamptonshire.
Council taxpayers already contribute a significant proportion of the total police budget and on current estimates, will pick up more than 50 per cent of the policing bill by 2024.
He said: “It’s simply not fair that council taxpayers should carry more of the burden for police funding in Northamptonshire than in other parts of the country.
“It is time for the Home Office to take a broad look at police funding and consider how to ensure fairness across the board, and how to create the stability and certainty that police forces need.”
In the current financial year, Mr Mold has given the force an extra £8m to invest in areas where the chief constable has asked for support to deliver operational policing.
This additional £8m funding has also allowed the force to invest in priority areas such as domestic abuse and rape investigation and has included funding 50 additional frontline staff to provide a direct service to the public.
Some of these have been police officers and some police staff in posts such as support staff investigators.
Mr Mold added: “Northamptonshire does not get a fair share of central funding and the National Audit Office report confirms that.
“The reductions we have seen are not as severe as those facing some forces but this trend is simply unsustainable in the long term.
“Our growing population provides us with more council tax revenue but it also brings increasing demand on policing.
“People in Northamptonshire are picking up an ever-increasing share of the bill.
“I have briefed the Police and Crime Panel today so that they understand the challenges that we face and have a clear picture of how we are funded.
“I will be working closely with other police and crime commissioners to ask the Home Office to review the funding arrangements to ensure they are fair and consistent across the country.”