Top cop’s plea for extra cash

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LINCOLNSHIRE’S Chief Constable has asked the Government for more cash to keep frontline officers on the streets.

Chief Constable Neil Rhodes met the minister for policing and criminal justice, Nick Herbert, in Grantham on Monday.

Lincolnshire Police has to make cutbacks amounting to £21m.

It is on target to save £18m but a £3m deficit remains, which equates to 70 police officers.

Mr Rhodes said: “The important thing from the meeting was that we were able to have it face to face and Nick Herbert goes away from here with a really clear picture of the position Lincolnshire is in.”

Lincolnshire Police is the lowest funded force per head of population in England and Wales. It costs £171 per head, per year compared to a national average of £206.

Mr Rhodes said a force that already delivers policing at the lowest cost per head will struggle with cuts.

He said talks with Mr Herbert focused on Lincolnshire having “a much fairer share of the national police funding pot even if that pot is going to shrink”.

Lincolnshire currently has 1,120 officers. It has already lost 70 officers and must lose another 20 or more in each of the next three years.

The county was recently singled out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary as a force that may not be able to deliver an effective service in the face of big financial cuts.

The force made history by transferring many of its office staff to private security company G4S, which has hit the headlines over problems delivering its Olympics security contract.

But Mr Rhodes says there had been a “competent and capable start in our relationship”.