Home news 'Overstretched' Bedfordshire Police's future 'on the line'

'Overstretched' Bedfordshire Police's future 'on the line'


An “overstretched” police force’s future is “on the line” if it does not receive an extra £10m of funding, a police and crime commissioner has said.Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway says the force needs the funding for 300 frontline officers and 80 detectives.Ms Holloway said if the shortfall is not met, then the force’s future is “unsustainable”.The Home Office said crime has fallen and budgets have been protected.Ms Holloway has submitted the Bedfordshire Police Demand and Finance Report 2017 to Policing Minister Nick Hurd, calling it “arguably the most important document… the force has ever sent to government”.

“Even though I’ve supported the Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher, in recruiting 96 new Police Constables in the financial year to 1 April and 100 more this year, the force still needs 300 frontline officers – at a cost of £8m – and 80 detectives to meet the demand for investigations – costing a further £2m,” Ms Holloway said.”I’ve called on the minister to treat Bedfordshire Police as a special case for scrutiny given its unique situation as he considers funding reports from all the 43 police forces of England and Wales ahead of next month’s Spending Review.”I firmly believe that if this shortfall is not met, Bedfordshire Police’s future is unsustainable.”Bedfordshire Police is a force achieving miracles on its overstretched budget… it is fair to say its future is on the line.”The PCC said the force has seen an 11% increase in 999 calls this year, a 16% increase in 101 calls and a 24% increase in calls requiring an immediate response by officers.A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We have protected overall police spending in real terms since the 2015 Spending Review, with Bedfordshire Police receiving £1.8m more in total direct resource funding in 2017-18 compared with 2015-16. “On 31 March, the police force had £13.2m in reserves.”The funding settlement will be announced on 22 November.
Source: BBC Bucks