max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C


Corrie search and court loss send forecast police overspend to £1.9million

PUBLISHED: 16:52 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 15 December 2017

Suffolk Constabulary headquarters in Martlesham Heath. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Suffolk Constabulary headquarters in Martlesham Heath. Picture: SU ANDERSON

An appeal court defeat and the search for missing airman Corrie McKeague have contributed to the more than twofold increase of Suffolk Constabulary’s predicted overspend for 2017/2018.

With three months of the financial year remaining, police are preparing for an almost £2million budget deficit unless the government steps in.

Eight weeks ago, when the police and crime commissioner’s accountability and performance panel last met, the forecasted overspend totalled £800,000.

On Friday, chief finance officer Chris Bland presented the same panel with the financial position at the end of October.

He said a number of factors had contributed to the latest £1.9m overspend calculation, including the ongoing search for Mr McKeague and Ipswich Town’s successful appeal over payment for policing outside its stadium.

The force awaits confirmation of leave to appeal the decision, which overturned a High Court ruling that it had been entitled to charge the club for special services, and has contributed £280,000 to the forecast overspend.

Meanwhile, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore wants the Home Office to provide financial support for the £1.5m search for Mr McKeague code-named Operation Phonetic.

He has also lobbied for a fairer deal when the Home Office allocates budgets this month.

Mr Passmore told the panel: “Bearing in mind the government helped Wiltshire police with the Ted Heath inquiry and gave the Met money to extend the search for Madeleine McCann, I think it would be quite outrageous for them to not do the same for us.”

A £1.9m overspend would have to be offset by digging into budget reserves, which fell from £17.5m in 2012 to £6.7m in March this year.

Last year’s government decision to protect direct resource funding at ‘flat cash levels’ compared to the previous year – a real terms cut, against increased demand meant recurring £1.7m savings were required to help fund nationally agreed pay awards.

Mr Bland explained other contributing factors included spending on overtime, which last year amounted to £2.8m.

Assistant chief constable Rachel Kearton said work was underway to control overtime levels, while chief constable Gareth Wilson said there was good overtime management but issues had arisen with changing demand, including an increase in 999 calls.

Health leaders have pledged to at least halve the number of people who die in hospital in Suffolk and north-east Essex by 2021.

A parking price war is about to break out in Ipswich as the town’s new Crown multi-storey car park nears completion.

The new royal baby will be sharing his birthday with a number of new additions across our region.

A man accused of stabbing a homeless man in Ipswich town centre has been jailed for seven and a half years.

New mental health beds for children and young people are set to open in the region after a review found current services were not enough.

A recovering addict who credits yoga with pulling him out of the darkness has revealed plans to start his own business in Suffolk to help others tackle their demons.

A murder investigation has been launched after the discovery of a man’s body within a Colchester car park this morning.

Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich is set to be full for the first time in years by the end of the summer as furniture and household retailer Dunelm moves to the site.

Wildlife experts fear important sites across Suffolk could be “irrevocably damaged” if they are not protected when planning laws are revised.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shown off their new baby son outside St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24