Bedfordshire's PCC urges Home Secretary to help 'seriously under-resourced' police force

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Bedfordshire's PCC has urged home secretary for additional funding for the county, as crime levels "are more like those of a London Borough".

PCC John Tizard has written to the new Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, congratulating her on her appointment and saying how much he looks forward to working with her.

Writing that the new government’s pledge to address anti-social behaviour and invest in community policing will be reflected in his new Police and Crime Plan, the PCC observed that he and the Home Secretary share the goal of more police on our streets.

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The PCC's letter states: "One of the core missions for my Police and Crime Plan is to reinvigorate community policing and I will be ensuring that its implementation complements your own policy initiative. We will be making a bid for some of the funding for the 13,000 additional officers and PCSOs and for youth hubs.

John Tizard. Image supplied by the Labour party.John Tizard. Image supplied by the Labour party.
John Tizard. Image supplied by the Labour party.

"As you will be aware, the outdated funding formula requires significant reform. This is particularly the case for Bedfordshire as the current formula leaves us seriously under-resourced given the disproportionate scale of criminality, due to its proximity, experienced in certain areas of the county.

"We are looking forward to an opportunity to work with the new government on the need for an updated funding formula that properly reflects the level of policing need within Bedfordshire, that is then regularly reviewed and updated is of utmost importance. Until that is in place, I would ask that continuation of the existing Special Grant provision, of £6.8M, is sustained."

Bedfordshire Police stated: "In the letter, John Tizard reminded the new Home Secretary of the need for the national police funding formula to be reformed. This formula underfunds Bedfordshire as it assumes that the county is rural when its demography and crime levels are more like those of a London Borough."

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The letter also explains how special grants from the Home Office have enabled Bedfordshire Police to significantly reduce the level of gun crime but that additional sustainable long term core funding was required.

It also explained that Bedfordshire Police are leading the national drive to improve police productivity by the application of technology and AI which is very much in line with the new government’s vision.

The PCC and Chief Constable have invited Yvette Cooper to visit police headquarters.