Chief steps up call for funding

Chief Constable Bill Skelly (left) with Police Minister Nick Hurd and  Crime Commissioner Marc Jones
Chief Constable Bill Skelly (left) with Police Minister Nick Hurd and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones

Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable Bill Skelly has stepped up his efforts to secure additional funding for the force from central Government.

Mr Skelly made his case during a visit by the Minister for Policing and Fire, Nick Hurd.

It is widely accepted that Lincolnshire is one of the poorest funded forces in the entire country per head of population.

Despite what Mr Skelly admits are massive financial challenges, Lincolnshire is recognised as one of the best performing forces.

Mr Skelly said: “As you would expect, finance was on the top of our list of topics for discussion.

“As we, along with the 42 other police forces in England and Wales, await news of national funding for policing, I was keen to take this opportunity of the visit to demonstrate and explain our priorities to Mr Hurd.

“This force is currently doing exceptionally well at keeping the public safe under considerable strain and with limited resource.

“If we are allocated a better settlement in the future we can ensure that we continue to deliver and make further advancements and investments in the ever-changing world of harm prevention.”

A particular challenge for Lincolnshire is the size of the county and the relatively small population which often goes against the county when it comes to funding.

Mr Hunt has previously indicated the Government is considering changing the formula it uses to allocate money but as yet, there are still no details.

Mr Skelly added: “We were pleased to welcome the minster and show him some of the areas where this force is leading the way, and of which we are intensely proud.

“Mr Hurd spent some time with our Mobile Data Team, finding out how the technology is helping our frontline officers and staff move away from desks and offices and get out more into the communities they serve.

“The state-of-the-art system is one of the biggest technological leaps forward in the history of the force and proving hugely beneficial in our efficiency.

“We also spent some time discussing ‘well being’. This initiative goes further to support all our staff emotionally, physically and mentally, to better equip them to serve the residents.”

During his visit, Mr Hurd was also introduced to other Chief Officers and staff members and toured a variety of departments as he was shown some of the key areas where the force has made recent investments and advancements.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “It was great to welcome the Minister so he could see first-hand the innovative work Lincolnshire Police have been able to do and the challenges that they face into the future regarding effective delivery of service.

“All this set against the budget challenges that are particular to this county.

“We feel that the Minister really took the time to understand the unique nature of policing in the county of Lincolnshire.”

Mr Hurd was full of praise for the force but did not give any guarantees about funding. He said: “This meeting is part of a wider programme of engagement I am leading with PCCs and police forces across the country on the changing nature of demand on police resources.”