Policing Minister to meet Beds MPs to discuss extra police funding for the county

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Minister confirmed an extra £10.2million funding next year

The Policing Minister is to meet Bedfordshire’s MPs to discuss policing funding for the county.

Richard Fuller, MP for North East Beds requested the meeting during parliamentary questions to Home Office Ministers last week, stating: “It’s unusual to hear from two Beds MPs when it comes back to the police funding formula, because this goes all the way back to the last Labour government. But there is cross party view in Beds that Beds Police are under funded, so will my friend, the Minister, agree to meet with all the MPs of Beds so we can press the case for continued extra funding for Beds Police?” See the exchange here

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The Minister, Chris Philp, confirmed Beds Police is to get a get an extra £10.2million next year, an increase of 6½ per cent which would be welcomed up and down the county. and agreed to meet MPs to discuss the issue.

Richard Fuller, MP for North East BedsRichard Fuller, MP for North East Beds
Richard Fuller, MP for North East Beds

Mr Fuller added: “I asked the Policing Minister for a meeting with all Bedfordshire MPs to address the unfair funding of Bedfordshire Police, which has gone on since 2004 when the concept of “damping” was introduced to the police national funding formula. This has meant that a number of police forces, including Bedfordshire, have not received the full amount of funding that the national police funding formula said they should.

“In our small county, our police not only have to deal with crime that affects many other parts of the country, but also have to deal with serious and organised crime and security in and around Luton Airport. There are also issues of social community cohesion in our urban centres and rural crime as well.

“While I thank the government for the uplift in police numbers and significant grants awarded in recent years, we continue to be funded as a rural force and the situation is not sustainable. We have two large urban centres and an international airport requiring complex counter-terrorism resources and the funding needs to match the challenges Bedfordshire Police face.

“Grants to boost funding is a sticking plaster approach and not sustainable in the long term.”