Kent Police will receive a £23.6 million cash increase from April. The 8.1% boost in funding was confirmed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid after I lobbied Ministers over recent months.
Kent Police had been facing huge pressure on increased pension costs. I organised a letter from Kent MPs to the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Policing Minister Nick Hurd, setting out our serious concerns. I also met with Mr Hurd, urging him to increase the force's budget so Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott could recruit more officers.
The Government listened and agreed a £4 million increase in funding for Kent Police, along with a further grant of £3.4 million to help with the pensions. Matthew Scott's spending power was boosted too – and he intends to use the extra cash to recruit another 180 officers. This year's cash increase for Kent Police follows a boost of £9.5 million in the 2018/19 financial year. This has taken Kent Police's total resources from £279.3 million in 2017/18 to £312.4 million in 2019/20.
Keeping our streets safe is one my key priorities. A big part of that is ensuring we have enough bobbies on the beat. That's why I've been campaigning in Parliament to get more funding for Kent Police. I'm delighted the Government has listened and significantly increased the force's cash two years in a row.
I'm fully backing Matthew Scott's plan to use his boosted spending power on recruiting 180 more officers, on top of the extra 200 last year. I will push hard for as many as possible to be deployed here in Dover and Deal – so we can make our streets safer and more secure.