New Government Funding Announcement ‘Really Disappointing’

The Government’s new police funding announcement is “really disappointing” and means that Hampshire Constabulary continues to be underfunded by £40 million, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Forces have been told they will get up to £922 million extra funding for 2024/25, but this amounts to a reduction in funding when considering their payroll commitments. The deficit can be made up by a local rise in council tax, but the Police Federation of England and Wales has said it is the worst financial support forces have received in recent years, calling the police precept a “postcode lottery”.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “This financial support is rubbish, but I’m not surprised. The Government has started looking at the funding formula for forces, but I’ve been told that’s all been put on hold now until after the general election.

“That’s really disappointing, as apparently the changes that were proposed would have really benefited Hampshire, because we are underfunded by about £40 million. That’s no small amount, compared to a lot of other forces. The new system was going to be more focused on population numbers, so we would have massively benefitted.

“Hopefully those things will still happen, we’ve just got to wait a bit longer.”

This comes at a time when His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is finding fault with many forces and giving notices on requiring improvement. Zoë said: “We can’t do it without any money. They can’t have it all. They can’t expect us to have brilliant performance, and then not adequately fund us.”

She continued: “Our Police and Crime Commissioner is very set that she’s going to keep increasing the number of officers. But the savings have got to be made somewhere. Our PCC is asking for an increase in council tax precept again, so you end up with a situation where police officers are having to pay more in their council tax because the Government isn’t funding them. It shouldn’t be that way.”

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