Police chief: We need more cash’
CAMBRIDGESHIRE S Chief Constable took her fight for more money and police officers to meet the demands of Britain s fastest-growing county a step further yesterday (Tuesday). Fresh from a meeting with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to press her demands, Juli
CAMBRIDGESHIRE'S Chief Constable took her fight for more money and police officers to meet the demands of Britain's fastest-growing county a step further yesterday (Tuesday).
Fresh from a meeting with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to press her demands, Julie Spence sought the backing of Cambridgeshire Horizons, the company set up to deliver the £3.1billion infrastructure needed by people living in nearly 50,000 new homes in the Cambridge sub-region, which includes most of Huntingdonshire.
The Joint Strategic Growth Implementation Committee, chaired by Horizons chairman and former Government Minister, Sir David Trippier, heard that Cambridgeshire's population would increase by 12.5 per cent by 2016.
Predictions indicate that there will be 25,200 more people in the county as a result of natural growth and relocation, and a further 69,000 people are predicted to move to the county as a result of migration, mainly from the European Union.
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Within the police's southern division, which includes Cambourne and Papworth, a much higher than average population growth is anticipated by 2016. For South Cambs, the population growth is 22,900 (17 per cent growth).
Key developments include Cambourne, where a new police station is planned to cater for a proposed housing increase from 3,300 to 4,000 units, and Northstowe, the largest planned development in Cambridgeshire with 10,000 dwellings expected. By 2016 there will be 4,800 homes there, with a population estimate of 11,280, the committee heard.
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Cambridgeshire police insists it will need more resources to cope with the growing population and wants additional money and another 25 officers a year added to its ranks.
Mrs Spence told the meeting in Cambourne, as The Hunts Post went to press: "The eastern region is one of the UK's economic powerhouses, creating wealth for the nation, and Cambridgeshire plays a big part in that.
"As the county plans to expand and grow, there's pressure for more housing and we need to make sure that the key public service infrastructure is in place to support this demand. The growth projections for the county mean we need to have enough police and other public services in place. We also need to develop a common set of accurate data on our population.
"Government figures are inaccurate and out of date, although I think ministers are now waking up to the reality and impact of population growth.
"Public organisations in Cambridgeshire have agreed to share more information to help with planning and resources, and that's an important first step."
Mrs Spence has demanded £15million a year by which she says the county has been under-funded because the Home Office is using out-of-date census data, plus £2million extra year-on-year to pay for enough officers to police the rapidly-growing population.