Ceredigion MP calls for police funding formula reform


On 12 September, Ben Lake MP contributed to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on the financial sustainability of police forces.

After shadowing Dyfed Powys Police officers at his home town of Lampeter recently, the Ceredigion MP urged the Minister for Policing to look again at the police funding formula, so that it better reflects the specific challenges of sparsely populated areas. Ben Lake MP spent a day on the beat in Lampeter as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Parliamentarians to better understand the challenges currently facing our police forces across the UK.

During his shift Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, attending response calls and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

During his contribution at Parliament, as well as calling for the police funding formula to be reformed, Mr Lake also highlighted the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on our police forces, due to the significant increase in population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Ben Lake MP said:

“I had an invaluable experience out on the beat in Lampeter with Dyfed Powys Police officers. It has left me with both a broader understanding of the new challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration for their bravery and commitment to public safety.

"At present, the formula used to distribute the UK Government grant does not adequately recognise the needs of a rural area such as that served by Dyfed Powys Police, and neither does it take into account the significant increase in population during the summer months in areas such as Ceredigion.

“We cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria for the central Government grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges faced by rural forces.”

Nick Hurd MP, the Minister for Policing, accepted the valid points raised by Mr Lake in the chamber and confirmed that these points would need to be considered further as part of the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Mr Lake added:

“Inadequate funding is leaving police forces and officers across Wales overstretched and under-resourced, and I shall be urging the UK Government at every opportunity to ensure that any future funding formula better reflects the costs associated with tackling crime in sparsely populated but large geographical areas.

"It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula to address this underfunding, or devolve the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves."

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