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Cost of living ‘border’ excludes Cambridgeshire police from £3,000 a year top-up

Police South East allowance doesn’t include Cambridgeshire

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Cambridgeshire police are the poor relation of forces they work with regularly such as Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. And two MPs are determined Cambridgeshire should play catch up.

The issue is over what is known as the ‘South East’ allowance and is the extra pay made to police officers to recognise the additional cost of living in the South East of England.

The maximum payable is capped at £3,000 per year and was first introduced in 1994 for police officers in Bedfordshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Thames Valley.

But the extra money is yet to find its way into Cambridgeshire.

Which is why it was top of the agenda when Shailesh Vara, the MP for NW Cambridgeshire, and his Huntingdon counterpart, MP Jonathan Djanogoly hosted a meeting in Parliament to discuss local policing matters.

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston and Chief Constable Nick Dean joined them.

Photo: (from left to right) Joshua Richards (from the office of Lucy Frazer MP), Jonathan Djanogly MP, Darryl Preston, Tiffany Lynch, Belinda Goodwin, Stuart Taylor, Liz Groom, Shailesh Vara MP and Nick Dean.

Photo: (from left to right) Joshua Richards (from the office of Lucy Frazer MP), Jonathan Djanogly MP, Darryl Preston, Tiffany Lynch, Belinda Goodwin, Stuart Taylor, Liz Groom, Shailesh Vara MP and Nick Dean.

Following the meeting, Mr Vara said: “I was very pleased to host this meeting and there is clearly much to be done to ensure that there is fair treatment and payment for Cambridgeshire police officers.

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“I will be working with my colleague Jonathan Djanogly and other Cambridgeshire MPs to take matters up with James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, especially with respect to the payment of the South East Allowance.

“It simply isn’t right that while officers in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire receive this allowance, their colleagues in Cambridgeshire are excluded from it, despite the very close collaboration between the forces.”

Liz Groom, chair of the Cambridgeshire Police Federation, also attended the meeting and spoke of the need to change the national police funding formula. This is the process by which financial resources are distributed to police forces more generally.

She felt that Cambridgeshire does not receive its due allocation, and this can be rectified by reviewing the funding formula.

Last year the police and crime commissioner for Essex approved proposals for the allowance to be increased which is expected to cost the force an additional £2.1m a year.

His report the payment “will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with affordability and a commitment to review the payment is the nationally set maximum is raised”.

The extra allowance is not pensionable.

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