Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner – Kathryn Holloway has said that the announcement by the Policing Minister, in the latest Police Funding Settlement 2017-18 for Bedfordshire, to stick with the pledge made in February 2016, resulting in an overall cash neutral position compared to 2016/17, will allow her to continue her work and deliver her Police & Crime Plan.

Responding to the Home Office announcement of the Funding Settlement made today - Thursday 15 December, which outlined £67.4M is to be awarded to Bedfordshire Police - Commissioner Holloway said:

 “I am pleased that the Home Office has provided a cash protection to the level of funding we will receive in Bedfordshire Police, this will allow me to continue my work in delivering the priorities set out in my Police and Crime Plan.  These include a return to more visible community policing across the county, putting victims at the centre of the way we police and prosecute, working with partners to break the cycle of serial offending to prevent crime where possible and protecting the police to protect the public with a proper duty of care.

“However, I will continue to lobby for appropriate funding for Bedfordshire Police to have an  increase in its funding in recognition of the significant challenges this county faces ensuring protection of our local policing teams, safeguarding vulnerable people and delivering effective crime fighting all of which relate more commonly to the very largest city environments. The demands on Bedfordshire Police Force are extensive across communities ranging from large town centres to market towns, villages and hamlets. In comparison to similarly sized areas and those with comparable levels of demand we are still very much a low funded Force.” 

“The welcome news is that the force will have further opportunities to bid for extra funding given the up lift in the transformation fund to £175m. This is a Fund from which Bedfordshire have been relatively successful from in 2016/17, securing funding on a local and regional basis.”

Since becoming PCC in May 2016, Kathryn Holloway has met with Policing Minister - Brandon Lewis, on several occasions to outline the essential need to award appropriate funding to Bedfordshire.  The Commissioner has also asked that the Force be considered for monies to be awarded from the Police Transformation Fund, which is intended to transform policing by investing in digitalisation, a diverse and flexible workforce and new capabilities to respond to changing crimes and threats.

The Commissioner continued:

 “The Home Office has put money aside to support innovative and transformative projects, and I’m very keen that Bedfordshire makes the most of money available from the Police Transformation Fund.  I’ll be working with the Chief Constable to submit high quality bids for projects and programs that will transform policing.

“It’s really important to note that this funding settlement is only a holding a position while the Government works out its news national formula for all 43 police forces in England and Wales – that will not happen before 2017 at the earliest but I am not anticipating any changes when the final announcement is made”

PCC Kathryn Holloway will continue to work with Bedfordshire Police in the commitment of securing more funding for Bedfordshire, focusing on the Police Transformation Fund as well as contributing to the work on the new funding formula.

A recent police watchdog report by Her Majesty Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) recognised the funding challenges for Bedfordshire Force referring to the complex issues it tackles which are more common to a borough in a large metropolitan Police force rather than a largely rural county.