Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

Suffolk MP highlights ‘urgent need’ for police funding review to spare taxpayers from ‘disproportionate’ costs

PUBLISHED: 23:12 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 23:29 07 February 2018

Waveney MP Peter Aldous speaking in the Houses of Parliament on the Police Grant motion. Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETV

Waveney MP Peter Aldous speaking in the Houses of Parliament on the Police Grant motion. Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETV

Archant

Suffolk taxpayers are being forced to pay over the odds for policing due to an unfair funding formula, which has left the system at “breaking point”, an MP has warned.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous spoke in the House of Commons debate on the Police Grant yesterday when he urged the Government to review its funding “without further delay and as quickly as possible”.

Mr Aldous said he recognised the national challenges facing policing. However he also highlighted the “significant pressures” on Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, which saw him add 6.8% to his share of the council tax precept for the coming financial year.

“Suffolk Constabulary is the force with the highest case load per officer in the country, at 150 per year, and yet it receives one of the lowest funding settlements,” he added. “A disproportionately high percentage of the county’s police funding is received from the council tax precept, which at 42.6% is one of the highest in the country and compares to a national average for England of 32%.”

Mr Aldous highlighted specific challenges facing Suffolk police including the “county lines” problem, involving drug gangs and also said its older population raised particular issues.

He said Suffolk was an “efficient force”, which had produced the “highest proportional savings” of all in the county. But he also noted rises in crime, including cases of domestic abuse and serious sex offences.

Mr Aldous pointed to the £2.15m cost of searching for the missing RAF airman Corrie Mckeague, who disappeared on a night out in Bury St Edmunds. He urged the Home Office to reimburse Suffolk police this cost.

The MP also highlighted last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which prevented Suffolk police from appealing the decision it should pay for the cost of match day policing of Ipswich Town FC’s home games.

He questioned whether it was “morally right” for the taxpayer to be paying for the policing of sporting events and warned it could have ramifications for forces across the country.

Against this backdrop, he said there was an “urgent need” for the police funding formula to be reviewed.

“Suffolk is traditionally a well run rural force that is now having to deal with a wide variety of 21st Century, metropolitan challenges on an increasingly stretched budget,” he added.

“The unique nature of Suffolk with the challenge of county lines and demographics of older people mean that policing in the county is under increased pressure.

“It’s no longer reasonable for such a high percentage of the policing budget to come from Suffolk county taxpayers.

“The situation needs to be addressed as soon as possible and I urge the government to instigate the funding review without further delay and as quickly as possible.”

Mr Passmore thanked Mr Aldous for his comments.

“Obviously, I was disappointed with the Home Office settlement that is why our campaign for a fairer funding settlement must continue,” he added.

“We’ve got to make sure this injustice is rectified.”

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said the proposals would increase police funding by £450m in 2018/19 – and up £1billion from 2015/16.

Devastated colleagues of an ever smiling, popular young pub worker tragically killed in a road crash have paid a moving tribute to her, saying life “won’t be the same without her”.

The number of people identified as victims of modern slavery has more than doubled in the region over the course of a year.

An alcohol free bar is set to open its doors in Essex, we speak to people in Ipswich to hear their thoughts on the new business venture.

A full planning application for the first phase of the £70million Tollgate Village retail and leisure park at Stanway have been submitted this week.

Countryside campaigners have lobbied for tougher action on illegal blood sport as gamekeepers fight a ‘frontline’ battle against hare coursing.

Police say they are growing increasingly concerned for 78-year-old James Carroll, who is missing from Braintree.

Visitors to Stonham Barns were transported more than 1,000 years back in time as the site was transformed into a battleground fit for the Dark Ages.

When you’re hunting for a new home, what can you buy for around £300,000? How about part of a unique pub conversion in Ipswich or a bungalow in Brandon?

A man who attempted to arrange to have sex with a child was jailed this week as well as a burglar and a London drug dealer. Take a look at how long they spend behind bars.

Eight students at the Lindbergh Campus in Ipswich, which provides alternative education as part of the Raedwald Trust, have had their stories published in an international book as part of a short story competition.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24