Bleak future for Suffolk police cash

A WARNING of a bleak future for law and order in Suffolk has been issued to the government by the county's police authority.

Colin Adwent

A WARNING of a bleak future for law and order in Suffolk has been issued to the government by the county's police authority.

Cash-strapped Suffolk Constabulary has warned the minister of state for policing Vernon Coaker MP that its deteriorating financial future will make it a force of poor and order instead.

In a letter to Mr Coaker, chair of the police authority, Gulshan Kayembe, has requested an urgent meeting with him with a view to raising a number of pressing financial concerns.


You may also want to watch:


Mrs Kayembe said: “Suffolk Constabulary is a low cost force, which takes pride in delivering a high quality service for the county's residents.

“However, we are faced with unprecedented financial challenges which I believe are unsustainable in the long-term.

Most Read

“In the next financial year, Suffolk will receive the lowest level of grant settlement from the Government in the country (2.5%), which in real terms equates to a cut in funding.

“Coupled with this, we are expected to make continued savings. The consequence of this is that Suffolk Constabulary has to make cuts in order to make the budget balance.

“We cannot escape the fact that we are not on a level playing field with other similar forces and we have no reasonable explanation as to why the county is so poorly funded compared to others. I have written to Mr Coaker to request an urgent meeting to discuss this matter.”

In the letter the authority tells Mr Coaker it is writing to him to raise his awareness of a number of important funding issues that have presented it with significant financial pressures for the coming financial year and beyond.

Suffolk police feels its grant funding of 2.5% represents an immediate net reduction in real terms given the national pay awards of 2.63% for 2009/10 and pay costs accounting for 80% of its total policing costs.

Based on the three-year settlement agreed for both grant and pay, this deteriorating situation will continue for future years.

The effect is that Suffolk Constabulary has to make cuts in order to make the budget balance.

The authority contends Suffolk is a very low cost force, with the second lowest (of 31 forces) Shire Force cost per head of population at �152.22 (2008/09 CIPFA statistics). The Shire average is �169.69.

In comparison with its Most Similar Group (MSG), Suffolk has the lowest cost per head of population of the eight forces, with the range being �152.22 to �196.28, and average �167.04.

The statistics are said to demonstrate the county's police force is already working from an extremely low cost base and as a result, there is little room for cutting the budget. It also makes the continued efficiency savings it is expected to make far more challenging to achieve.

Suffolk Police Authority meets next Monday to make a decision about the budget and council tax precept for 2009/2010.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus