Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl is calling on Gloucestershire’s six MPs to back him in his fight for a fair share of the 20,000 new police officers promised by the Government.
It follows the Government’s announcement it would support and fund an additional 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years.
With no detail yet of how those officers would be shared around England and Wales, there are concerns the existing method of insuring a fair distribution could be scrapped in favour of the bigger city forces.
Already, “West Midlands Police receives £146.72 per 1000 of population; Manchester £151.45 and Merseyside £173.72 compared to Gloucestershire which gets just £84.65 per 1000 of population.
There is further speculation that funding could be ‘top-sliced’ to provide officers for the National Agencies leaving other forces to compete for what is left.
Either scenario could result in Gloucestershire getting fewer than the 150 officers they could expect under the existing funding formula, which already puts the county at a disadvantage.
In a letter to Gloucestershire’s five Conservative MPs and one Labour member, Mr. Surl says, “You are probably aware that the Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police have already called for any additional resource allocations to be weighted in favour of metropolitan forces.
You can read Martin Surl’s letter to the MPs in full here:
“If they are successful this would mean a reduced allocation to Gloucestershire and an increase in the dis-proportionality of central vs local funding arrangements in the county.
“No information has yet been made available to indicate how those 20,000 additional officers will be distributed across England and Wales or what provision will be made for an uplift in police staff to support this.
“My ask is that you support me in lobbying for any additional resources allocated this year to be based solely on the existing policing funding formula. In the absence of any detailed, national consultation or analysis, this is, I believe, the fairest approach to any resource allocation”.
Gloucestershire currently gets one of the lowest grants from Central Government and the cost of recent police recruitment has come through increases in the council tax.
Under the existing funding formula, the county would expect to get 150 new officers. This would bring the Constabulary back to where it was in 2010 before austerity.