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28 September 2018
POLICE services in Wiltshire receive hundreds of thousands of pounds less than any other county in the country, and now the Police Crime Commissioner is demanding answers.
While the national average for funding per person is £177.90, Wiltshire Police lag behind, receiving just £155.10 per person in the county’s population.
Other rural communities including Devon and Cornwall, North Wales and Norfolk receive on average £175.20.
Police Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “It is never going to change unless more people make a noise about this.
Chairman Richard Britton added: “It is outrageous that Wiltshire is so far behind and has been for so many years. I cannot see a rational argument other than inertia and it always has so it always will."
Members of the Crime and Police panel, sitting at County Hall in Trowbridge today backed the PCC’s frustrations and confirmed that it would send a letter to the police minister at central government to fight for equal funding for the county.
During the meeting the panel also examined crime numbers and Mr McPherson highlighted that crimes such as domestic abuse, modern slavery and child exploitation were taking place in rural communities as well as in urban areas.
Although Wiltshire has the second lowest homicide rate and third lowest most serious violence rate in the country, he urged members of the public to be aware of the crimes currently being tackled by officers throughout the county.
He said: “We continue to be concerned about domestic violence and sexual exploitation, but we have a cultural complacency about the existence in our green county of Wiltshire. Wiltshire is no different to anywhere else, child sex exploitation, domestic abuse and modern slavery are going on here and I wish the public would open their eyes.” Domestic abuse crimes have increased by 8.7 per cent, up to 5,848 in the last year. Sexual offences have risen by 1.5 per cent to 1,650 in the last 12 months, and 41 out of 43 police forces all reported a rise in the crime. Between March 2017 and April 2018, 4,633 vulnerable victims have received support in Wiltshire. Among them were victims of hate crime, sexual offences, domestic violence and other serious offences.”