Once again robust financial management and sound investment decisions have been the cornerstone of the PCC’s approach to financial planning.
For 2021/22 the priorities set for new investment included the creation of new specialist policing teams to combat crime, increasing the number of tasers and armed response units, improved intelligence gathering and the biggest recruitment of new officers for decades.
All of those projects have been delivered and are contained elsewhere in this report.
Two key elements have been crucial in the efforts to create the UK’s most efficient police force – the support of both the people of Lincolnshire and the Government.
The current Government’s commitment and financial backing for an increase in officer numbers allowed Lincolnshire to push ahead with its plans to bolster front line resources – and was a major factor in the recruitment of 120 officers last year.
In addition, and no less important, was the willingness of Lincolnshire residents to support policing in their communities with their own money – with our annual survey of more than 3,000 people showing overwhelming support for an increase in council tax in excess of the one the PCC levied.
In total for the 21/22 financial year £64.5m was spent on police officer costs – with an additional £2.9m spent on PCSOs.
While much has been done to develop Lincolnshire Police and victims’ services in the last few years, once again it is important to acknowledge the financial challenges still faced.
The PCC’s election as chair of the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners gives him a unique opportunity to be at the heart of discussions about the future funding made available for Lincolnshire and he continues to lobby hard for a fairer funding formula.
The fact remains that the spending of £140m on policing and in the 2021/22 financial year still puts the county at the bottom of the spend per head of population.
Sound financial planning and wise investment has meant the PCC has been able to deliver on the biggest growth in officer numbers for years. But that position will be extremely difficult to maintain beyond 2021/22.