ROCKETING prices are piling pressure on police budgets, warns Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.

Doubling electricity bills, force gas contracts rising by 77 per cent and soaring diesel and petrol prices – it could all cause a staggering £3 Million dent in Northumbria Police’s budget, accountants predict.

With the cost of living crisis sweeping the country, the Commissioner says that police finances here and elsewhere, are up against it more than ever and this is a real concern.

Speaking ahead of the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel on Tuesday, Kim McGuinness said it was important to be clear about the financial challenges the force faces, especially at a time of increased police demand.

She said: “Energy, fuel, bills – budgets all over are taking hit after hit and our police force is no exception. Keeping communities safe and fighting crime comes at a price and prices are soaring.

“Against the backdrop of years of austerity, the cost of living crisis, rocketing inflation and the recovery from the pandemic – I want to be very upfront about the potential budget pressures our police force is facing.

“It’s easy to say we’ll look to find efficiencies but the force has had to do that for ten years battling cuts – money really is tight.

“Policing plays such a vital role and supports some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. With increased poverty comes increased likelihood of being a victim crime or being drawn into committing crime.”

“I am worried about the cost of living’s impact on our region but I’m also worried about the cost of policing too. We have to have resources in place to deal with the demands; we’ll have no choice but to go into emergency reserves” Kim added.