Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire has urged the Government to recognise the increasing demand on police forces caused by mental health issues and troubled families as it considers how best to change the way police forces are awarded funding.
Mr Grunshaw has welcomed the chance to contribute ideas to the funding review saying: “The current way funding is awarded to forces is out of date and needs replacing so I welcome this review. However I am concerned that any new criteria takes into consideration the growing demand on the police service and not just crime figures.”
In Lancashire crime fell overall once again by 2.9% in the last financial year but the commissioner said this is no reflection on the actual demand placed on the force in terms of work to prevent crime occurring in the first place and the pressure it is under often as a result of cuts to other public services.
Lancashire Constabulary has already lost 700 officer roles and 500 police staff since austerity began and the Commissioner is hoping that recognition will be given for work that takes place to prevent crime happening in the first place through Early Action initiatives.
He said: “Our analysis shows that only around 19% of all demand will lead to a crime being reported. Every day our officers will investigate reports of 18 missing people – most of whom are vulnerable – but this rarely leads to a crime report.
He added: “551 “999” calls will be made but only 255 actual crimes will be reported each day. Our officers are investigating crimes, attending court, taking witness statements, supporting those on the troubled families programme, providing evidence for case conferences involving vulnerable young people as well as supporting hundreds of initiatives to stop people offending.
“All this needs to be taken into consideration when understanding exactly why crime is falling in Lancashire and that early action initiatives are producing results.”
The Government launched a consultation on the funding formula this week with a deadline of September 15 for Commissioners to respond to the proposals and offer suggestions for measuring demand.
The consultation includes proposals to award funding based on population size along with taking into consideration the number of bars in a force area and asks for suggestions on how to incorporate non-crime demand into the new formula.
The Commissioner added: “I want to ensure that this review is not detrimental to our funding here in Lancashire and so will be contributing fully to the consultation and lobbying our MPs and elected members to ensure they too champion policing in Lancashire.”
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