Campaign against ‘unfair’ police funding

A PETITION has been set up by police against an ‘unfair’ funding system which sees �20million of Avon and Somerset taxpayers’ money spent on other force areas every year.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Police Authority and the force’s Police Federation have teamed up to highlight what they say is the equivalent of robbing the public.

Authority chairman Dr Peter Heffer said: “This is not about austerity measures, we are making our fair share of the cuts.

“This is about an unfair tax fund transfer, in which residents in this area are paying for other parts of the country to be policed.

“The Government assesses that we need �20million to meet our needs but instead it is given away to other parts of the country with less need.”

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The petition comes after the Home Office announced a review of police funding formulas, which includes a public consultation.

A poster produced alongside the campaign states: “It’s criminal – you’re being robbed. If you want your taxes to pay for policing your area, sign the e-petition for a fairer deal.”

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Roughly two thirds of a police force’s funding comes from central Government.

Avon and Somerset has seen its grant need scaled back to cover the cost of providing a minimum increase to all police authorities.

Mr Heffer added: “This complex transfer of our taxes means that, while areas like ours miss out, other police authorities are building up their cash reserves.

“This is not only the view of this police authority but it is also the opinion of the National Audit Office and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee who have both classed this tax transfer as ‘unfair’ and ‘complex’.

“With the Home Office finally consulting on this, we believe now is the time for change.

If you are aggrieved about your hard-earned taxes paying for other areas to be policed I urge you to sign the e-petition or write to your MP.”

To view or sign the petition, go to www.consultation.avonand by July 30.

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