• There’s hope that Gloucestershire taxpayers will get a fairer deal when it comes to police funding within the next two years
  • Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson has asked the Home Office for a fairer police funding formula
  • During a recent meeting with senior officials, the PCC was “assured” that the new Police Allocation Formula is likely to be introduced next year
  • The current formula provides more Government funding to urban areas, meaning in rural counties like Gloucestershire, tax payers are left to make up more of the policing budget
  • Chris Nelson says: “This out-of-date formula was devised more than 20 years ago and Gloucestershire taxpayers should not be left having to foot so much of the bill.”

Council tax is one of the many bills to have risen this financial year. While this was in-part to pay for the recruitment of hundreds more police officers and staff over the next two years, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner says this rise might not have been necessary if an “out-of-date funding formula” had been addressed by Government.

Chris Nelson has taken his funding concerns to a meeting with senior officials at the Home Office and has been “assured” that change is imminent, with implementation likely to be next year.

In England and Wales, policing is funded through a mix of Government funding and tax payer contributions. The government funding is known as the Police Allocation Formula (PAF). Each county receives an amount of funding, based on the need for policing in areas relative to each other. The results of the PAF have a significant impact on how much money a force will receive in order to police its local area.

Historically, rural police forces like Gloucestershire receive a lower amount allocation compared to urban police forces. This is because the formula tends to favour urban forces with higher crime rates and more serious violence. This results in Gloucestershire’s residents paying more council tax to help fund the police.

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson took his appeal to policing minister, Kit Malthouse explaining the unfair advantage given to urban police forces in the PAF.

Mr Nelson explained: “For some time now I have been working hard with my Commissioner colleagues nationally and the Home Office to ensure the Government’s out of date police funding formula is revised. This complicated formula determines the funding allocation for each of the 43 police forces around the country.  It was devised over 20 years ago and tends to favour urban based forces with high crime rates and serious violence.

“Rural counties such as Gloucestershire have the same types of crime to deal with as urban areas – although not of the same intensity – therefore we need a similar range of crime fighting resources, particularly given our widely dispersed population.  The current formula does not adequately recognise this need, increasing local pressures for higher council tax to compensate.

“I have been assured by the Home Office that a new system will be in place within the next two years and I look forward to seeing the benefits for Gloucestershire.”

Once implemented, it could mean that Gloucestershire tax payers face less financial pressure to help fund the police, as there will be more funding from central Government.