Calls for funding review after one police officer for every 500 residents in Bassetlaw

Nottinghamshire Police will only reach the same number of officers it employed 10 years ago, despite a government uplift.

By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 7:55 pm

Chief Constable Craig Guildford said there is currently one police officer for every 500 residents across the county.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to recruit 20,000 new officers across England and Wales, which included £750m of funding set aside for 2020/2021.

Chf Con Guildford said the force was ahead of the game and had used the cash immediately.

Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police Craig Guildford.

Currently, there are around 2,270 serving police officers – with 2,300 expected to be in post by March 2022.

By March 2023, another 100 officers are set to be employed.

But despite the government uplift, this will only see the force reach the same number of officers it had 10 years ago.

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Chf Con Guildford said “the complexity of the demand (on the force) has changed” during that decade.

This includes more reporting of online crime such as fraud, county lines and sexual exploitation.

In 2009/10, the force had 2,400 police officers and was determined to reach 2,500. But government cuts meant it never reached that goal.

Chf Con Guildford, who became chief constable in February 2017, has worked to ensure police numbers continue to rise across Nottinghamshire. When he joined the force there were 1,824 police officers in post.

Chf Con Guildford has welcomed the government’s plans to look at the funding formula for police forces again in the autumn.

The force receives around £232m, but he says the funding formula is around 15-years-old and policing has changed during that time.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “There is double the workload on an officer in Nottinghamshire compared to some other forces in the country.

“Our officers carry a higher level of demand than anywhere else in the region and often more serious demand such as crime of more threat and risk like violent crime.

“We have a core city, and we have significant pockets of deprivation which can be associated with high levels of criminality.

“The reality of the situation is the existing funding formula has never been fully implemented and applied a series of dampening measures, which result in Nottinghamshire not receiving a substantial amount of money.

“It is about £9m that we have never had. It is not like it has been taken away, it has never been given.”

He said any additional cash would be spent on police numbers.

Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, said she has met the Minister for Policing, Kit Malthouse, at Downing Street.

She said: “I have asked him personally to review the funding formula. It is only right our police force in Nottinghamshire have the resources they need to carry out their duties and keep Nottinghamshire safe.

“As well as pushing to have the funding formula reviewed, I will also ensure as PCC I keep a tight control over our budget to make the money work.”

The uplift of extra officers by the government has meant the force can:

Expand its digital media investigation team from eight to 16. This team gathers intelligence from offenders such as drug dealers’ mobile phones and laptops. The police said this will speed up prosecution. Expand its road policing team from 12 up to 21 officers. This will ensure Nottinghamshire’s roads are safe and to stop criminals using the network to bring drugs and weapons into the county. More investigators in local policing and the CID. Expanding the modern slavery and county lines team. More officers in neighbourhood policing. Officers in public protection, which includes domestic violence and sexual offences.