Ipswich MP pleased with police funding formula review

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt is pleased to see an end to the national lockdown - but warned: 'This isn't the end of the struggle.'...

Tom Hunt has been calling for fairer police funding for Suffolk - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk MP said he is pleased the government has acknowledged the current police funding formula is "out-of-date" after demanding more money for the county's force. 

Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, wrote to policing minister Kit Malthouse in October over the "unfair" police funding formula, and called for increased funding to put more officers on the street. 

Suffolk currently receives £114.2 per resident in central government funding compared to the country average of £165. In London, the figure stands at £298.8 per resident. 

Mr Hunt said increased police funding would improve Ipswich's retail sector and "is vital" to ensure the town's residents feel safe. 

In his letter to the policing minister, Mr Hunt said: "Ipswich is the most dangerous major town in Suffolk and the 49th highest constituency for violent crime. 

"However, I feel the current formula determining county funding does not take into account the urban challenges, density, and socio-economic struggles facing the town, against the backdrop of a predominately rural county. 

"A funding level which more accurately the composition of Ipswich and its policing challenges would reap benefits beyond safety and crime reduction.

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"Retail in Ipswich town centre currently suffers as a result of anti-social behaviour and theft; small businesses would become more viable and prosperous. 

"The night-time economy in Ipswich would particularly benefit from prevention of anti-social behaviour."

Mr Hunt added that more funding to tackle gang and drug-related activity was "essential". 

Housing minister Kit Malthouse in Westminster, London after he became the latest person to enter the

Policing minister Kit Malthouse confirmed a review is underway - Credit: PA

In response, Mr Malthouse said a review of the funding formula is underway to ensure a "fairer distribution" among police forces. 

He said: "It has been clear for some time that the current police funding formula is out-of-date and no longer accurately reflects demand on policing.

"A new review of the funding formula is now underway and will rightly consider all aspects of the formula, including an evidence-based assessment of drivers of the risk of crime and demand on policing, and issues that affect costs at a local level.

"Reviewing the funding formula will ensure a fairer distribution of the circa £8billion of annual core grant funding to the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

"I have previously confirmed the government’s intention to complete this work before the next general election."

On the response, Mr Hunt added: "I’m pleased to see the Home Office recognise that the current funding levels aren’t reflective of need, especially in Suffolk.”

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