Lincolnshire

Frontline officers may be cut if government will not deliver more funding, Lincolnshire PCC warns

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has said that frontline officers and staff could be reduced unless the government provides more money for the force.

In an interview with Lincolnshire Reporter, Marc Jones said that the force had a hole in its budget of £3 million for next year, doubling to £6 million for the year after, and appealed for the government to come up with a new funding formula.

The PCC was speaking as he launched the Safer Together, Community Safety, Policing and Criminal Justice Plan for Lincolnshire from April 2017 to March 2021.

He said: “To put this into perspective, if we got rid of all the PCSOs in Lincolnshire tomorrow, we’d still have another £1 million to find out of that £3 million.

When asked if that meant scrapping PCSOs, the PCC said: “Absolutely not. We need them – they’re part of our delivery of frontline services.”

The PCC said that there would have to be a radical look at how Lincolnshire was policed if the government did not follow through with additional vital funding.

He added: “It will become a much more responsive police force.

“80% of our funding is spent on frontline police officers so if you have to take millions of pounds out of your budget, that affects the number of people in your organisation.

“That being said, you can do things much better if you invest in the right technologies, you can deliver more hours on the street for police officers.”

Among the actions set out in the Safer Together plan are:

  • Create a single joined up approach to reducing offending and re-offending and establish integrated offender management to tackle our most challenging and prolific offenders
  • Create a coherent approach to managing offenders released from prison to maximise the chance of rehabilitation and reduce reoffending
  • Support for citizen involvement through volunteers and ‘watch’ schemes
  • Raise awareness of elder abuse and of those with learning difficulties or other vulnerabilities and work with partners to identify and disrupt threats to the vulnerable, for example from targeted ‘scamming’
  • Establish a Youth Advisory Group to seek the views of the young from a range of backgrounds
  • Create a Community Commission to ensure the public voice is heard from across the county
  • Commission, with partners, specialist adult and children services to support victims of sexual crimes and domestic abuse with compassionate services that support them through the criminal justice process and beyond
  • Ensure services are commissioned to keep those with mental health needs out of the criminal justice system
  • Invest in ensuring the police have access to mental health advice and support in the force control room, in the community and through improved training and awareness for officers and staff
  • Support neighbourhood policing, backed by specialist support, that work with their communities to identify, prevent and tackle crime
  • Invest in appropriate information and communication technology (ICT) to support modern frontline policing enabling officers to spend less time desk-bound and more time out in the community
  • Invest in appropriate equipment to meet the varied needs of policing a large and diverse county
  • Provide fit for purpose property suitable for modern and flexible policing, including the creation of a combined police, fire and ambulance station in Lincoln to share resources and to support and enhance their emergency response to the public