A POLICE commissioner has called for fair funding after his own figures revealed higher crime areas have suffered the greatest funding cuts.

Northumbria, Cleveland and Durham were three of the top ten forces hardest hit by government cuts in funding, the research showed.

Barry Coppinger, Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner, who carried out the research, has now invited new Home Secretary Sajid Javid to the area to see first-hand the work being carried out by neighbourhood police teams.

The teams were recently highlighted by the police watchdog as having best practice.

“As the figures make clear, forces tasked with policing higher crime areas have been hardest hit by funding cuts,” said Mr Coppinger.

“A new Home Secretary offers the chance for a fresh start and I hope Mr Javid will send a clear message that he supports neighbourhood policing by reversing the funding cuts of recent years.

“Cleveland can now proudly claim to lead the way when it comes to neighbourhood policing and I hope the Home Secretary will visit to see first-hand the excellent job our officers do in the most demanding of circumstances.”

Mr Coppinger's figures compared total funding cuts with victim-based crime per head of population, with the three North-East forces in the top ten of most savage cuts.

Cleveland has seen its funding from Government fall by 36 per cent, or £39m in real terms since 2010, Mr Coppinger said.

And in Durham fellow Labour police and crime commissioner Ron Hogg said tax precept rises in poorer areas yielded just a tenth of those in more affluent areas such as Surrey.

Cleveland Police had to raise its local precept in March to avoid further cuts to police numbers.

In terms of overall funding, Surrey has been the least impacted and has actually seen overall funding increase by one per cent (in cash terms) since 2010-11.

Mr Coppinger said: “It cannot be right that police forces facing the greatest challenge see their funding cut whilst those in low crime areas enjoy an increase in funding."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The Independent Office for National Statistics is clear that overall levels of crime are stable over the last year, with traditional crime over a third lower than it was in 2010.

“The Government has provided a strong and comprehensive police funding settlement that is increasing funding by around £460m across the police system for 2018/19, including Council Tax precept. Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner has used his council precept flexibility which means funding is increasing by around £2.2million in 2018/2019."