Bedfordshire police will receive a £4.6 million funding boost to fight organised crime and gang violence
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has approved a special grant application from Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kathryn Holloway.
The extra funding will support the force to disrupt gang activity in and around towns in the force area. This includes gun violence, county lines drug operations, and child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said:
“This funding will help Bedfordshire Police in their operations to dismantle criminal gangs and protect the public.
“We recognise the changing demands that the police are facing and remain committed to providing them with the support they need.”
Funding available for exceptional demand on policing
PCCs can apply for special grant funding to reduce the burden of forces dealing with unexpected events or exceptional demand within their areas.
In its 2016 PEEL inspection of the force, HMICFRS, the independent police inspectorate, concluded that the volume and complexity of crimes faced by Bedfordshire Police in some places (for example, Luton) was comparable to that of a London borough.
Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said:
“This will cover the entire cost of Operation 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, together with the spend on this area calculated for this financial year.”
A police spokesperson said that Operation Boson has been based in Luton and that this extra funding will allow Boson officers to expand into Bedford.
Special grants are in addition to the police funding settlement. This is increasing funding by £460 million in 2018 to 2019, including money raised from the Council Tax precept. This includes an increase of £2.9 million for Bedfordshire police.