Sussex Police faces a budget shortfall of more than £8m, even if it increases its share of council tax by the maximum allowed by the government.

The force can raise its share of the council tax precept by £13 a year for a Band D property in the 2024-25 financial year, though this has yet to be approved.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said the rise was “absolutely fundamental”.

Without it the force would have to make “quite destructive savings”, she said.

In December, the government announced that Sussex Police would receive a grant settlement of £394m in 2024-25, but its gross budget for the financial year stands at just over £402m, leaving an £8m gap.

This includes more than £33m to cover inflation costs, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

During a performance and accountability meeting with Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, Ms Shiner outlined some of those inflation pressures as coming from wages, services for victims and witnesses, the cost of forensic work, and the cost of maintaining the force’s properties.

Ms Bourne said: “I always maintain to members of the public that Sussex Police is a very efficient force compared to the amount of funding received.”