Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 11:29 UK

Appeal follows police budget cap

Police handcuffs
The government said the move was to prevent excessive council tax rises

Surrey Police Authority (SPA) is to appeal against a government decision to cap its budget for a second year.

The authority was allowed to keep its £191.5m budget for 2008/09, but was restricted to £189.6m for 2009/10.

The government said the move was to prevent excessive increases in council tax, which is shared between council, police and fire services.

Surrey Police Chief Constable Mark Rowley said it would be hard to avoid front-line cuts if capping was imposed.

Last week, Local Government Minister John Healey revealed the level of council tax rises across England and said: "Most councils across the country are tightening their belts, which is exactly what the public wants to see."

He said the government planned to cap the council tax increases set by two police authorities - Derbyshire and Surrey.


I need sufficient resources to tackle the serious risks we face

Chief Constable Mark Rowley

Chairman of the SPA, Peter Williams, said: "We know that Surrey people want to continue to live in the safest county in England.

"We know that they want an effective and properly funded police force to secure that.

"At present, the only way we can continue to fund this is by making up the shortfall in what the government provide for us through the council tax precept."

He said the SPA would submit alternative proposals to the government over the next few months.

Chief Constable Mark Rowley said about half of the crime in the county was committed by cross-border criminals travelling to Surrey.

He said: "This threat is not currently accounted for when decisions on central funding are made.

"As Chief Constable, I need sufficient resources to tackle the serious risks we face."

East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth, who has backed the appeal, said the current funding formula did not take into account the reality of policing in the county.



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SEE ALSO
Police authority budgets capped
26 Jun 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Police protest over budget caps
01 Apr 08 |  Surrey

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