PCC with Chief Constable Garry Forsyth and the Bedfordshire Police Federation. The photo was taken last year (2019) before social distancing Image OPCC

£6m to support the county through this year’s pandemic

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has commended the outstanding work of Bedfordshire Police and partners in the face of an unprecedented year in her Christmas message to the force as she marked £6m of funding those working with her office to support communities and victims of crime.

The £6m has included funding from the Special Grant from the Home Office, funding from the Ministry of Justice, Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) and the Home Office’s Safer Streets Campaign. Commissioner Holloway said:

“In response to the pandemic, Bedfordshire Police has responded quickly to changing government legislation and guidance, while minimising enforcement wherever possible, and has supported communities across the county as policing style had to adapt to these national changes, ensuring the people of Bedfordshire have been looked after and kept safe.

“Across the force, all teams of officers and staff together with the volunteer police service the Special Constabulary and all other volunteers have worked closely together to maintain a high level of service, frequently working in challenging and difficult conditions and this is particularly true of our officers who have had an unprecedented year of success in cracking down on serious organised crime, pandemic or no pandemic.

The specialist guns, gang and knife crime unit, known as Boson, made notable arrests and seizures throughout the lockdown period. Highlights include the following:

  • In a six-month period from February to July this year, Boson carried out 43 warrants, made 108 arrests and seized almost four kilograms of Class A and Class B drugs, as well as around £67,800 in cash
  • At the end of April, the team secured a five-year prison sentence for a, 21-year-old man from Luton after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of a firearm. The man was arrested during one of the team’s many warrants
  • Earlier in the year, Boson secured a 27-and-a-half-year sentence for a 22-year-old man after he pleaded guilty to five charges included attempted murder
  • In October Five people were arrested and a firearm was recovered in Luton after proactive police patrols in the Lewsey Park area

Commissioner Holloway said:

“My office has worked hard to support partners through the pandemic and where we’ve won funds we have provided additional support to those charities and organisations that are essential to help and support communities, especially to help those escaping Domestic Abuse.

“This year I have won or issued just over £6m pounds to support services across the county and as I continue into 2021 and conclude my role at the May election I will continue to fight for every penny Bedfordshire needs.”

Breakdown of the £6 million

  • Special grant for Boson activity from the Home Office – £3,000,000
  • Home office surge funding money to tackle serious violence – £908,000
  • Home Office funding for the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit – £880,000
  • Home Office funding for two Safer Streets grants – £882,000
  • Ministry of Justice funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence – £169,000
  • Ministry of Justice funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence – £139,788
  • Home Office funding for micro charities funding through the VERU – £88,000
  • Extra funding for Embrace – £56,000