June 2, 2022 8.27 am

Lincolnshire Police chief praises “extraordinary” officers despite funding struggles

Petitioning government for a “fairer allocation” for many years

Lincolnshire Police is to get just over £80 million of government funding for this financial year, making it the lowest funded force in the country compared to population.

The Lincolnite has been sent figures by Lincolnshire Police, showing our local force to be getting £80.438 million for the 2022/23 financial year, including national uplift funding.

The figures show government funding and do not include council tax contributions, with forecasts for upcoming years showing major funding gaps in the force could be on the way.

The expected funding plan for 2023/24 is £79.338m, which has no national uplift funding and identifies a £2 million funding gap. As for 2024/25, there will be an estimated £2.5m gap as government funding reaches £79.338m again.

Frequent reference was made to Lincolnshire’s force being the lowest funded in the country when the spotlight was placed on the county for Channel 5’s Inside The Force: 24/7 documentary series that aired earlier this year.

Lincolnshire Police HQ. | Photo: Steve Smailes

These claims have now been verified by Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward, who says he is proud of the work his officers do despite the difficult challenges facing the force, such as reduced numbers and facilities.

Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “It’s no secret that this force is the lowest funded in the country per head of population, but what people sometimes fail to realise – and I think this can often include ourselves, too – is how much we achieve on a daily basis with what we have.

“It’s extraordinary, and we continue to be innovative and creative with what we do have available to us, delivering a high standard of policing every single day.

“For many years we’ve been petitioning government for a fairer allocation of the police funding formula because we have been overlooked, meaning our budget has not been able to provide the resource needed to meet demand in Lincolnshire. We are hopeful that we may gain in the funding formula this time around but, as yet, we don’t know when or by how much.”

Chief Constable Haward added: “Saying that, we still need to prepare for potential budget shortfalls as we wait to see what funding we will be allocated and in case we need to plug some gaps. Our budget is balanced for the next year, but we do need to prepare and look for savings post-2023.

“As we are committed to meeting the national uplift figures for police officers it’s unlikely that we’d look to reduce officer numbers, so we will examine options in our processes and infrastructure. We are only just beginning that exercise and there is much work to do.

“Our officers and staff continue to work with commitment, passion, professionalism, and diligence, to ensure we deliver policing that keeps Lincolnshire safe.”