RAW DEAL: Peterborough’s police force ‘not at level playing field’

Jaosn Ablewhite
Jaosn Ablewhite
  • 33 out of 39 - where Cambridgeshire Constabulary ranks for amount of funding it receives per person out of forces in England
  • £94.4 - amount of funding Cambridgeshire Constabulary receives per person
  • £200.2 - amount of funding Met Police receives per person
  • £178.1 - amount of funding Merseyside Police receives per person
  • £85.6 - amount of funding Surrey Police receives per person (lowest of all forces in England)
  • 1,425 - Cambridgeshire Constabulary workforce in 2018/19
  • £24,204 - starting salary of Cambridgeshire police constable, rising to £38,382
  • £12 - rise in council tax for 2018/19 to pay for 55 more officers across the county
  • 23% - rise in recorded crimes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough over 12 month period compared to previous year
  • 13.3 - equivalent full time staff in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire
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Peterborough’s police force is “not starting from a level playing field” as it is one of the lowest funded forces in the country per person.

Analysis by the Peterborough Telegraph of funding for police forces in 2018/19 shows Cambridgeshire Constabulary will receive £78.4 million to spend, which works out at £94.4 per person.

However, this places the force seventh bottom out of 39 forces in England and pales into insignificance in comparison to the Met (£200.2 per person), Merseyside (£178.1) and Cleveland (£162.7).

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite says he is continuing to lobby the Government for “fairer funding.”

He added: “Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, both in terms of its economy and its population, and it’s my job to make sure resources are in place to meet that demand.

“We have already taken measures such as introducing the local policing plan which provides an additional 50 officers, and there will be 55 more from the £12 per year increase in the policing part of the council tax.

“However, the current funding formula puts us at a distinct disadvantage, meaning that we are not starting from a level playing field.”

The funding formula is set by the Home Office and is based on a number of factors within force areas - for example, if the county is more metropolitan than rural.

Proposed changes to the funding formula will be revisited at the Government’s next Spending Review.

The vast majority of police funding comes from the Government, but around 30 per cent also comes from council tax through the police precept.

A Home Office spokesperson said Cambridgeshire police has reserves of £28.5 million.

She added: “The Government have set out a comprehensive settlement to strengthen local, national and counter terrorism policing, which will mean police funding will increase by up to £450 million next year with around £270 million going direct to forces to spend on local priorities. 

“PCCs called for greater flexibility to meet local policing priorities. The Cambridgeshire Commissioner has chosen to use his precept flexibility and will therefore increase the force’s direct funding by around £4 million in 2018/19.”

More on Peterborough’s financial Raw Deal:

- Peterborough is not receiving the same level of government funding as other parts of the country for its public services

- Council tax bills in Peterborough could be nearly halved

- Peterborough has one of the worst funded health services