Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable have today (18 January) joined forces to highlight a funding shortfall that could threaten future police services.
At a briefing for media, new analysis will show that despite early indications of strong support from local people to ‘maximise’ an increase in council tax precept, Hampshire’s police force would still face a £23m shortfall by 2021. The force has well-developed plans for a further £10m of efficiencies, but this leaves a £13m gap per year by 2021.
This £13m is dwarfed by the under-funding of Hampshire Constabulary compared with other police forces. Independent figures from Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) show that the force receives £44.8m less funding than the average police force each year. The force has managed this situation to date by being at the forefront of innovation and efficiency, largely through partnership and technology. This efficiency has been independently recognised by HMIC in both 2015 and 2016. The underfunding will become too much of a limitation in future years, and so action is being sought now to address this national inequality.
Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner, commented: “Local people and Hampshire Constabulary are continuing to play their part. However, since 64% of my policing budget comes from central government, via a national formula, the best local efforts are not enough. That’s why we have written to the policing Minister to explain the current situation, and to underline the urgent need to see through his very welcome commitment to end the £44.8m of inequality that threatens police services for the people of Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.”
Chief Constable, Olivia Pinkney, commented: “This is a good force with a proud track record and officers who care deeply about the public they serve. As chief constable I have a duty to highlight any risk to policing services well in advance. Our analysis makes very clear that without fair national funding risk to services will in future reach unacceptable levels.