Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair has called for a fairer funding formula to ensure that the Force is properly resourced.
Gareth Jones said policing needed sustained, long-term investment from central government and to move away from “unfairly burdening” local taxpayers with funding the service.
He said: “The current funding system for policing encourages short-term thinking.
“After 14 years of cuts and underinvestment, we need sustained, long-term funding to allow our chief and our commissioner to plan strategically.
“And we need a fairer settlement that distributes money evenly. Increasingly, local taxpayers are being unfairly burdened with paying for policing through their Council Tax precept, but the amount that can be raised is dependent on the size of population and wealth of the area.
“And with a cost of living crisis, households are already struggling to make ends meet and I just don’t think it’s fair to keep hiking their Council Tax.”
Gareth’s comments come after Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Dafydd Llywelyn gave evidence before a Westminster committee on the adequacy of funding for policing in Wales.
Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Dafydd Llywelyn.
Mr Llywelyn joined PCCs from the three other forces in Wales at a sitting of the Parliamentary Welsh Affairs Committee.
He was asked by Ben Lake, the Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, what he would change about the funding formula for police forces.
Mr Llywelyn said: “I have quite a straight answer, because if the force — I think it is true for all forces in Wales — were to get a Barnett consequential population share for the funding for policing, we would have more money afforded to policing in Wales than we currently have from the current funding formula.
“The straight and short answer would be that if we were to get a population share in a Barnett consequential for policing, we would benefit from that in Wales.”
The Barnett formula is used by the UK Government to calculate devolved budgets for the Welsh Government as well as the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive.
Alun Michael, the South Wales PCC, said the current formula “doesn’t compensate for poorer areas or areas which have high challenges in terms of policing and low income”.
And he said that the Government had “deliberately put more of the burden onto the local taxpayer”.
He said: “And because not every force has as much ability to raise and to increase its precept that’s really quite an unfair and an unjust way of approaching the arrangements.
“We really need a fairer formula and one that takes proper account of the financial constraints, both in terms of the force’s needs but also in terms of the population on which the precept falls.”
Eleri Thomas, the deputy PCC for Gwent, added there was “a real tension” for forces in setting budgets.
She said: “It’s recognising the resources chief constables require to have an effective forward-thinking police force at the same time as recognising in a cost of living crisis, the affordability to our public.”
She added the high cost of borrowing created big challenges for forces when they were looking to invest in infrastructure, estates, and fleets.