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Expect less from service unless government acts, says chief


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More cuts to officer and staff numbers are on the cards, according to the man in charge of Linconlshire Police.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly

Chief Constable Bill Skelly

Date - 26th September 2018
By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle
9 Comments9 Comments}


A chief constable has issued a stark warning about the future of policing in one of the largest geographical force areas in the country.

Lincolnshire Police faces cuts to officers, PCSOs and other staff numbers and expects, along with its back office partner G4S, to have to make redundancies, unless government funding is increased.

The startling view is revealed in its first force management statement – a new form all forces have to to fill in for HMICFRS.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “Readers of the report will see that Lincolnshire is facing some stark choices if government funding is not made available and implementing this plan is necessary to meet future projected costs.

“In the context of finance, we simply cannot be non-viable and, unlike some other public sector services, have to keep going. We cannot run into debt. So with less money there is going to have to be less service.”

The force was due to benefit more than most from the funding formula revision – announced in 2015 but scrapped after Home Office officials botched their calculations.

The Home Office did not answer Police Oracle’s question about whether the process would ever be revived.

CC Skelly said officer numbers, currently 1,100, could be reduced by 60, PCSOs could be cut by more than 40 per cent and 10 per cent of other staff posts may have to go.

In 2007 the force had 1,245 officers.

Lincolnshire Police Federation chairman Jon Hassall said: “This is a sad indictment of what government has done to policing. It’s all very well hearing, favourable comments about how we operate from within parliament, but the time for words is passed and we need to see action.

“If we are to lose police officers, and I urge that we don’t, there needs to be a strong focus on telling the public what we will, sadly, no longer be able to do for them.”

Debby Parker from Unison said: “Any lessening of services currently provided would seriously impact on the capability of the force which will have been brought about through no fault of its own.”

The Home Office spokesman who did not answer the question about the police funding formula, claimed that police “have the resources they need to carry out their vital work”.

“However, we know the nature of crime is changing,” he added. “That is why the Policing Minister has spoken to every police force in the country to understand the demands they are facing and why the Home Secretary in May committed to prioritising police funding in next year’s spending review.”

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