Police funding model attacked as Suffolk gets a ‘lousy deal’

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is calling the next spending review for police bu

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is calling the next spending review for police budgets to be brought forward. Picture: SUFFOLK PCC - Credit: Archant

Continued budget cuts will endanger Suffolk’s victims or police services - that is the message from the county’s police and crime commissioner after an independent report criticised the funding plan from the Home Office.

The report, published by the National Audit Office, accuses the government of having no idea of whether the funding for police forces in England and Wales is sustainable and calls for greater clarity and an effective budget.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore welcomed the findings, who has voiced continued concerns over the issue.

He said: “This report shows that Suffolk gets a lousy deal and continues to get a lousy deal.

“The decisions we have taken are particularly painful and metropolitan forces have not made anywhere near the same cuts to their forces.

He added: “We are supposed to be victim focussed - this funding model is not.”

For 2019-19 central government contributed 56% of the funding for Suffolk Constabulary, with the other 44 per cent coming from local government.

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However, since 2010-11, real terms funding had fallen for police in the county by 19% overall - and by 29pc in central government funding.

Real terms funding takes inflation into account, meaning that although this is the amount of money provided to police, it has been outstripped by the rising cost of wages and police resources.

The comments made in the report are a condemnation of the Home Office from the NAO.

Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “The financial sustainability of police forces and their ability to deliver effective services is reliant on the Home Office understanding national and local demands and allocating funds fairly.

“If the Home Office does not understand what is going on it will not be able to direct resources to where they are needed.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Our decision to empower locally-accountable PCCs to make decisions using their local expertise does not mean that we do not understand the demands on police forces.

“In addition, the report does not recognise the strengths of PCCs and Chief Constables leading on day to day policing matters, including on financial sustainability.”