19 January 1996

Police win funding help in rural areas

EXTRA government resources are to be diverted to policing in rural areas after a concerted campaign by farming unions.

The Home Office has agreed to make changes to the funding formula to give "shire" police forces extra help to cope with the disproportionate costs in policing sparsely populated areas.

Home Office minister David Maclean revealed details of the sparsity element in a letter to Country Landowners Association president, Ewen Cameron.

Giving details of the £238m increase to the 43 police authorities in England and Wales, Mr Maclean said the sparsity element would amount to 0.5% of the £6.6bn being spent in 1996/97.

The sparsity element is higher in particularly rural authorities, such as Powys/Dyfed (2.5%) than other regions.

Mr Maclean also reminded the CLA of the prime ministers pledge to provide funding totalling £100m for extra police officers over the next three years. &#42