Calls are being made for a radical re-think of the Government’s outdated funding formula given to police forces to ensure rural areas have enough officers to deal with crime.
It disproportionately hits rural areas like Gloucestershire who are facing serious anti-social crime challenges such as burglaries, vehicle crime and county lines drug dealing. Rural communities are also especially vulnerable because of their isolation.
Analysis by the National Rural Network reveals rural forces receive nearly 20% less funding per head of population than those covering urban areas. In 2018/2019 a predominantly rural area received £167.01 per head of population, compared to a predominantly urban area which had £206.20.
This is a similar problem to schools funding, which also suffered from an out of date formula that benefited urban areas over the shires. That formula was changed after a concerted campaign by Conservative MPs.
I have promised to work with all 6 Conservative MPs in Gloucestershire to campaign for a change to our funding formula, so that we can recruit and deploy more police to cut crime.