Lincolnshire Police need to find £5m ‘just to stand still’

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner fears windfall schemes such as the Safer Streets Fund could disappear next year following the government’s Autumn Statement.

PCC Marc Jones.
PCC Marc Jones.

PCC Marc Jones said: “Any government would find the current financial challenges difficult, and I’m keenly concerned with home office spending, broadly the commitments that were made in our last comprehensive spending review, we’ve been told will be honoured.”

“It will obviously be a matter for the Home Secretary how [money] ultimately is saved, some of which may be around related funding – things like the safer streets fund for example, we might not see future bidding rounds for that, which would be a shame but understandable.

“There is a clear commitment from government to prioritise police officer numbers, but from my perspective, there’s more to policing than just having uniformed officers.”

The Safer Streets Funding has helped pay for numerous extra CCTV cameras across the county in recent years.

Mr Jones said that even if the force received a similar funding settlement to the current year, there was still going to be a 10 per cent gap due to inflation and rising fuel costs.

“Just to stand still, we will need to spend roughly £5 million more next year than we did last without doing anything differently.”

Mr Jones’ budget plans are currently out for consultation, but include an option to raise the policing council tax precept by nearly £10 again. But he added: “If through our consultation the public say we can’t afford council tax to go up… then it won’t, and services will be cut.”