Funding Boost For Bedfordshire Police

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, and Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher, were today celebrating an £8m win for Bedfordshire Police to deliver more officers to the frontline and plug a hole in the budget from a national pensions shortfall. And South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, has warmly welcomed the news.

The Policing Settlement for 2019-20 will bring £8m extra into the coffers of cash-strapped Bedfordshire Police and was made up of £1.3m in extra core grant, £1.1m in a contribution for pensions, with the Treasury having calculated that the PCC will be able to raise £5.6m from council tax, if raising the precept by the maximum allowed of £24 per year for a Band D home.

The PCC and Chief Constable have fought a robust and hard-hitting campaign over the past two-and-a-half years to land the message with Government that Bedfordshire Police is the least-appropriately funded force in view of its particular challenges, which consist of what has been assessed as the third highest terror threat in the country, serious organised crime to and from the nearby capital and gang, gun and knife crime issues - with an estimated 40 per cent of all gunshots fired in the entire East of England area, from Norfolk to Kent, being fired in Bedfordshire.

MP Andrew Selous warmly welcomed the extra £8m a year when speaking in the House of Commons today.  Yesterday Andrew raised the issue in Parliament with the Prime Minister as well. 

Speaking after the announcement today Andrew said:  “This is a wonderful early Christmas present for the people of Bedfordshire and a huge boost for our determined Bedfordshire Police officers.  I look forward to the additional 360 officers that Bedfordshire Police will be able to recruit over the next three years with this funding increase.  I also want to reduce the demand placed on the Police by mental health and social services issues as it is not fair to the public to expect the Police to have to deal with these issues to the extent they do.  I also want to see significant additional focus on the crimes of assault, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, theft of and from vans and cars.  All of us also need to play our part by being the eyes and ears for the Police, by teaching our children right from wrong and doing everything we can to uphold the law.”

Andrew Selous MP being briefed by the Home Secretary on the extra £8m for Bedfordshire Police.
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