Wiltshire's police and crime commissioner has lobbied PM candidates over "grossly unfair" funding for rural forces.

PCC Philip Wilkinson took part in briefings last week with both potential Conservative leader candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Calling for fairer funding and a review of the current formula, Mr Wilkinson says both candidates supported his plea for change.

Mr Wilkinson has joined together with other Conservative PCCs, he said: "The current funding formula is grossly unfair to rural forces and to rural residents who are bearing the brunt of this outdated policy.

"This means there is less money per head of population to fight crime and provide the quality policing service that officers want to deliver and that residents want to be on the receiving end of."

Mr Wilkinson raised the point that just because the county is rural, it doesn't mean the same crimes facing urban areas aren't felt here.

“Crime doesn’t stop at county boundaries - Wiltshire has problems with county lines drugs, with modern slavery, with cyber crime and fraud alongside increasing domestic abuse, serious sexual offences and child sexual exploitation, just as urban areas do,” he continued.

"We also need our country’s top politicians to realise that rural crime, and the impact this brings upon our farmers and our rural communities, also needs prioritising – especially as the grip of the cost-of-living crisis takes hold."

Hoping for a rebalanced police funding formula, Mr Wilkinson would like to see Wiltshire Police funded to the same level as Labour-led urban cities, "such as London, Manchester and Liverpool".

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