Hampshire police chief’s warning over funding after Queen’s Speech

Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney
Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney
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SENIOR police bosses have hit out demanding clarity from government over funding – warning the service may have to scale back some of its work.

It comes as Theresa May’s government dropped plans to announce a fairer funding formula in the Queen’s Speech.

Hampshire police’s chief constable Olivia Pinkney has said the force is facing a ‘gap’ from the next financial year if there is no extra money.

In a statement, she said: ‘As I said back in January, we are planning for the next round of funding announcements and we need early clarity.

‘If funding remains the same, and despite all of the additional efficiencies we will deliver, there will be a gap starting from the next financial year.

‘For the public that means we would not be able to provide the same services that we do today.’

She added whether extra cash comes from ‘a fair national funding formula or through extra funding for policing overall’ is for other national leaders to decide.

But she said: ‘However, we must ensure that we can properly resource local policing.’

In January, Tory police and crime commissioner Michael Lane warned, together with Mrs Pinkney, that the force receives £45m less than it should do.

They had planned to make further savings but feared a £13m cliff edge by 2021, with £23m of cuts coming in between 2018 and 2021.

Mr Lane praised elements of the Queen’s Speech but added: ‘I will continue to press for fair, appropriate and timely funding to ensure we have the resource necessary to keep us all safer. I will be listening carefully for clues as to the new government’s approach in the continuing debates planned for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.’

Elsewhere, Labour Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan criticised the Tory’s legislative programme.

‘I am hugely disappointed by this lightweight Queen’s Speech,’ he said.