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New police plan for Lincolnshire hangs on budget settlement




FORCE STRATEGY: Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.
FORCE STRATEGY: Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.

The future standard of policing in South Holland and Lincolnshire rests on an improved cash package from the Government, according to the county’s top cop.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly warned that the force faced “a real cutback in service provision over the next two to three years” if its current £116million-a-year budget stays the same.

Mr Skelly made the stark confession whilst unveiling a new strategic plan for Lincolnshire Police setting out how it intends to protect both the public and its own staff.

The 20-page document includes a recognition that an eighth of South Holland and Boston’s population is made up of people “from a minority ethnic group” and half of the county’s residents and businesses are rurally-based.

Mr Skelly said: “I arrived back in February and one of my earliest tasks was to try and get an understanding of the force, what the resourcing picture will be over the next five years and the priorities I see here.

“So I felt that it would be really helpful, for my own people and the public, if I could capture that in the document and make that available to people.

What I’ve committed to do is to deliver the best service I can with the money I’ve been given
Bill Skelly, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police

“What I’ve committed to do is to deliver the best service I can with the money I’ve been given.

“But we need to get a settlement figure from the Government and unless the money to fund the plans comes through over the next two to three years, there will be a real cutback in service provision.”

The document, called Distinctively Lincolnshire, mirrors a Community Safety, Policing and Criminal Justice Plan for Lincolnshire produced by Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones in April.

It sets out plans for a community partnership to prevent crime, police the county effectively, shape priorities according to people’s views and improve the criminal justice system.

Mr Skelly said: “The mission of the force is to empower and involve communities in working to prevent and reduce harm.

“I have two broad goals for Lincolnshire Police, to provide a service that meets the expectations of our communities and to support our staff to feel healthy and valued.

“Supporting our people in their wellbeing and how they feel valued is vital to achieving our mission for the public of Lincolnshire.

“But I also see the role of policing in our county as playing a leading part in making the lives of our public as safe as possible.

“This will go hand in hand with providing the right tools to get our people into the right place at the right time,

“We’re a very efficient service, but in a very precarious position with regards to our future funding.

“However, I do believe the people of South Holland can take some heart in that I do acknowledge the particular challenges they are facing and we’re working to provide a level of service they can take confidence in.”

• What do you think? Email your letters to jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk/

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