Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said that the two candidates to become Prime Minister have assured him they will look at ‘fairer funding’ for his force.
Stephen Mold told a panel of councillors that he was stepping up pressure on the Government to review the way it funds its police forces, and said he had even spoke to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. One of the two will have the keys to 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.
Mr Mold told a Northamptonshire County Council police and crime panel last Wednesday (July 17) that he was giving Chief Constable Nick Adderley ‘every support he needs, within our existing financial restraints’.
He said: “Since I came into office the police budget has increased for the third year in a row, giving an operational policing budget in 2019/20 of £130million – up £11.6million since 2018/19 and almost £20million since 2017.
“In the financial constraints that we have we will do everything we can. Will we do better? Yes. Will it fulfill all our ambitions? No. Which is why we need that extra money.
“Both contenders for Prime Minister have promised me that they will look at this, so I am using my political sway. And one of them who is the favourite to win has told me he will definitely be looking at a fairer funding formula.”
Mr Adderley, who in August will celebrate one year as Northamptonshire’s ‘top cop’, believes that his force should be getting a fairer slice of the funding given the company it is keeping with similar sized forces.
He said: “Northants is grouped with forces that they see as a similar size to us, and there are 17 variables used to decide that cluster. We are in the same group as Cheshire, which has a £170million budget, and in Staffordshire which has a £179million budget. I have worked for both those forces and they don’t face the same challenges Northants has, and we have a £130million budget.
“Since 2011 the population in the county has grown by 54,000, and we have 137 fewer police officers than we did. Residents pay £102 per head in population for their police officers, whereas the average in the same cluster is £110. That £8 might not seem a lot, but if it was the same that’s an extra £5.9million.”
Mr Mold, who was elected in 2016 as a Conservative candidate, said that he wanted to see the panel put pressure on local Tory MPs to fight on behalf of the force for a review into fairer funding.
He added: “I am strongly lobbying the Government to ensure that Northamptonshire receives a more equal funding settlement. This panel has shown strong support for policing. I don’t want to be presumptuous but I hope you will support me in writing to our MPs to make the case for extra funding.”