HL Deb 09 January 1995 vol 560 c14WA
Lord Hooson

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, and if so, how the cost of sparsity is recognised as one of the criteria in the new formula produced by the Home Office working group for the new standard spending assessments of police forces; and whether in this respect the criteria reflect the differences between police forces in urban and rural areas.

Baroness Blatch

The Allocation Formula Working Group chaired by the Home Office was unable to find a statistically valid method to assess the relative cost of operating in sparsely populated areas. Sufficient police activity data was not available to the working group to enable such necessary assessments as the costs of travelling large distances in rural areas by vehicle at higher average speeds compared with the costs of travelling small distances in urban areas on foot or in vehicles at low average speeds. It is planned to return to this issue in work on the funding formula for 1996–97.