Fight for fairer funding for police goes on after Suffolk short-changed

A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being hit by a car

Suffolk receives around half the cash some police forces get - Credit: PA WIRE

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner has vowed to continue fighting for fairer funding of the county’s police force, after revealing that some forces get nearly double the amount of funding.

Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said Suffolk receives £5 less per head than Norfolk’s force for policing, while constabularies in Merseyside and the West Midlands were not far off double the amount in Suffolk.

"I am promised for the third time that there is going to be a funding formula review for policing, this is in the Home Office settlement,” he told the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting.

“I know I sound like a stuck record on this, but I am not giving up on the issue regarding funding, and I know Suffolk gets a pretty poor deal in nearly every other area of the public sector.

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“But just to put it into perspective, we get £5 per resident in Suffolk less than in Norfolk, so 5×760,000 people shows you the gap there.

“We get £114 per resident from the Home Office grant, and if you compare that with places like Merseyside and the West Midlands, Merseyside gets £217 from the Home Office grant per person, West Midlands £199.

“Now this discrepancy is so big, and with the levelling up agenda, at least some progress would be required because this is about the future of Suffolk, good policing.”

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The numbers put the state of Suffolk’s funding into “stark reality”, Mr Passmore said, explaining that the county was only above Essex on per-head funding figures nationally.

He vowed that the public sector leaders group would “do our very best to get a better deal for Suffolk”.

Around two thirds of policing budgets come from government grants, with a third generated from the police precept element of the council tax bill.

Mr Passmore was forced to raise the precept by 4.69% for this year – around 19p per week for a Band D property, to help adequately fund the force.