£4.571m handed to Bedfordshire Police to tackle gang, gun and knife crime

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Bedfordshire Police have secured £4.571m of unique emergency funding from the Home Office to fight gang, gun and knife crime in the county.

Funding for a Policing Special Grant was applied for by Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Kathryn Holloway, who said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the Minister and the Home Office have been listening… and that my bid for £4.571m is to be granted in full.

“This will cover the entire cost of Op Boson, the Force’s specialist response to gang, gun and knife crime, which has placed an unprecedented strain on us over the past two years.”

While this is good news our PCC warns that the force is still severely underfunded: “It gives me breathing space with the budget as we had been heading for a substantial overspend. It does not mean that I will let up on my argument – either in public or private – over our core funding position.”

The Home Office will announce next month the ammount of cash it will give Bedfordshire Police for 2019/20: “I am determined to do all that I possibly can as Bedfordshire’s PCC to get funding for [our] 300 officers and 80 detectives.” adds the Commissioner. “We need to bring us to a level which is simply comparable with forces facing the same challenges and to support our officers and staff in everything that they do for the public in Bedfordshire.

“We now just need to wait until next month to see whether the Chancellor was also listening and whether he understands the absolutely genuine case for funding assistance for Bedfordshire Police.”