PCC concerned fairer funding deal will not help Avon and Somerset police
PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 April 2017
Copyright: Freia Turland
The elected leader of Avon and Somerset Constabulary said she is 'concerned' the force will continue to miss out on Government funding in the years to come despite a planned overhaul in how police forces are allocated money.
The force has traditionally always received less money from the Government compared to other constabularies, meaning it lost out on £110million in eight years.
Ministers announced in 2015 that they planned to create a simpler, and fairer, funding formula to work out how much money each constabulary will get.
Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “If there was fairer funding, we would have another £14million a year, which is equivalent to 350 police officers and PCSOs.
“In Avon and Somerset we have had a raw deal for years, and as far as policing is concerned we have lost out when the funding formula was worked out.”
The force has had to find £60million in savings over the past five years, and still needs to find another £20million.
It now has 600 fewer staff than in 2010, although many of those roles were back-office workers.
In 2015, the Government announced a new funding formula, but it would have left Avon and Somerset worse off by £15million a year.
It later turned out the formula had been based on the wrong figures, and ministers intend to release a new formula in June.
Ms Mountstevens said: “When they announced another funding formula, I thought ‘it cannot be any worse’.
“But it was and it would have meant the force lost another £15million.
“They realised they were the wrong figures and then went away and they will come up with another one.
“But I am really concerned about it.”
Ms Mountstevens said the formula could be based on all sorts of issues, including population size and the amount of crime.
One of the ways the force has been managing its money includes working more closely with Wiltshire Police and Gloucester Police.
Ms Mountstevens said when the formula is announced, she will consult with the public and will urge people to write to the Government if it proves to be unfair.