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Top cop pleads for cash

PUBLISHED: 17:35 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:41 23 August 2010

A CHIEF police officer says the effect of migration should be taken into account by the government when funding is allocated for the county s police force. Michael Fuller, chief constable of Kent, along with other senior police officers from across the c

A CHIEF police officer says the effect of migration should be taken into account by the government when funding is allocated for the county's police force.

Michael Fuller, chief constable of Kent, along with other senior police officers from across the country, met Home Secretary Jacqui Smith last Thursday.

He was speaking a day after a report released by the Association of Chief Police Officers concluded that the influx of migrants from Eastern Europe has not led to the crimewave some had predicted.

Mr Fuller has always been outspoken about the additional pressures on the county due to migration. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Fuller said: "I was given an opportunity at the meeting to explain how Kent has seen an increase in officers' workload and policing costs because of population growth in recent years. We had a productive and amicable discussion. The Home Secretary listened carefully to what I had to say and she responded positively.

"She recognised the genuine problems that Kent faces, especially as a gateway to Europe.

"I remain confident that the Home Secretary has taken my concerns seriously and she will look to take into account the impact of migration in any future funding settlement."

Last October, a Sunday newspaper obtained a letter from Mr Fuller to Ms Smith, warning her that the funding Kent Police had been allocated was not enough to deal with the increase in migration.

He estimated that 78 per cent of population growth is accounted for by migration, which has contributed to a rise of more than a third in violent crimes over five years to about 7,800 incidents last year.

He said the additional cost to the force was £34 million over the past three years, but claims increases in funding from the Home Office have failed to keep pace. In response to the leaked letter, Mr Fuller denied that it linked crime trends to increased migration.

He said: "The issue for us is not the impact of migration on crime levels but the significant increase in workload and demand on our resources that population will bring."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary had a very constructive meeting with ACPO and chief constables. The meeting covered issues such as building closer co-operation between the police and the UK Border Agency, the contribution of Neighbourhood Policing, enhanced data sharing and more flexible resourcing.

"This will be invaluable in informing future discussions at the Migration Impacts Forum relating to the impacts of migration on policing.

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