Lincolnshire Police ‘disappointed’ with further £3m budget cuts

Lincolnshire Police received news today of a further £3 million cut to their budget, despite Chief Constable Neil Rhodes warning the Home Secretary last week that the force could collapse if more funds are cut.

In response to the Chief Constable’s message, mirrored in a letter by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick, Home Secretary Theresa May accepted that the force had delivered a strong performance in affordable policing.

She praised the efficiency of the public service in her response and said that others need to learn from the achievements made.

However, on Wednesday Lincolnshire Police were offered a grant settlement equal to a reduction in cash terms of over £3 million.

Officer numbers have already been slashed from 1,220 to 1,200, but Chief Constable Rhodes is expecting a further 236-officer reduction.

In a statement the force said the cut would further increase the pressure on their “already stretched budgets and make it difficult to maintain current levels of service beyond the next financial year.”

Lincolnshire Police said: “Local policing – the bedrock of policing in Britain – has suffered again today. Funding has been taken away from local communities, and instead directed towards the ineffective independent police complaints commission and other national bodies such as the College of Policing.

“We continue to urge the Government to urgently review the funding formula and heed the advice of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

“HMIC have clearly stated it has concerns about the ability of Lincolnshire Police to maintain its current level of service to the communities of Lincolnshire beyond 2016 and deems us to be at risk. We remain committed to working with the Home Secretary to develop a sustainable solution for Lincolnshire Police and those it serves.”