Yesterday (29th January), a budget paper was passed at Hampshire's Police & Crime Panel supporting a proposed £15 annual increase in council tax funding.
Responding, I released a press statement, saying: "We live in a poorly funded area. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight police currently receive £43.5m less than the national average. We need a Police and Crime Commissioner who will fight for fairer funding for our communities.
The people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are tired of our overstretched police being unable to deliver the level of policing they want and that our communities need. The Chief Constable has powerfully made that case this morning.
Unbelievably, while the government boasts of funding new officers, the £2.6m additional funding from central government pays salaries but does not cover the costs of equipping and training these new officers. The force is already needing to plan for cuts elsewhere in future years to be able to pay for the higher numbers of officers coming through.
Today’s decision by the Police and Crime Panel to support the proposed annual £15 increase in the Council Tax funding highlights just how woeful the government funding is.