Grant is to help Bedfordshire Police to fight gang, gun and knife crime
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has won a second unique Special Grant from the Home Office to fight gang, gun and knife crime and fill a hole in the cash-strapped force’s finances.
Commissioner Holloway persuaded the Government that the rules for Special Grants in policing needed to be changed. The previous criteria meant that grants only covered spending in the service that lay outside ‘business as usual’ on a single day.
From this change, PCC Holloway received her first Special Grant last year of £4.571m. This was to cover the unprecedented costs of fighting gang, gun and knife crime in the county over a three year period. She has now been awarded a further £3m for the Force to also assist with these costs in 2020-21. PCC Holloway said:
“Everybody told me at first that the rules would not be changed and that this wouldn’t be possible.
“I’m of course delighted that the Home Office recognised that Bedfordshire Police required extra assistance and that the Special Grant was absolutely deserved to help to bring serious youth violence under control.”
Old rules could return
PCC Holloway is concerned that the Special Grant process may not be able to be accessed in the same way in future years.
“PCCs and Chiefs have been warned by the Minister that he intends such Special Grants to return to their original purpose to cover events occurring on a single day, such as a terror event or call on policing to protect the US president or recent NATO conference at Watford.
“I feel strongly that the people of this country and county want the money they invest in our policing, either through general taxation or the local precept, to be spent on their own protection.”
Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said:
“This is excellent news for the force and the law abiding citizens and communities of Bedfordshire, it will enable us to continue our focus on guns, gangs and knife crime with our excellent Boson teams leading the way in tackling these determined criminals.”
On Thursday (19 March 2020) PCC Holloway announced that she had agreed to stay for a further year as a Caretaker PCC after PCC elections were postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.