Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has taken his campaign for fairer police funding in Devon and Cornwall all the way to the Prime Minister.
The force bore the brunt of cuts made under the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010 which left it having to make savings of £51 million by 2015. Since then, the force has lost 400 police officers and more than 400 civilian staff posts.
But there remains disquiet that the two counties have suffered disproportionately because of a combination of previous efficiency measures, the scrapping of a specific grant for rural policing and a funding formula which leaves the force short-changed.
Mr Hogg said he had raised two key issues with David Cameron: the need to recognise the burden of summer policing and legislation to formally bring the NHS into collaborative projects.
"I was not asking for more money for Devon and Cornwall but a better share of the funding that is available," Mr Hogg said. "At the moment the funding formula does not recognise the additional pressures of summer policing when we have millions of visitors.
"I also raised the issue that only one organisation is not currently required by law to collaborate with police forces, local authorities and community safety panels and that is the NHS. Yes they are working with us but it may require legislation to have the lever to say they must reach out, be proactive and sort out issues such as mental health and so on."
His meeting with the Prime Minister coincided with the release of latest crime figures which showed a deteriorating picture in the region.
While offences fell by 3.9% in the 12 months to the end of September, the rate of improvement slowed because of a surge in crime over the summer. Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer has admitted he is "not confident" of hitting the modest 2% crime reduction target by the end of the financial year.
Further cuts in police funding are expected following a 6% cut in the Home Office budget. It is not yet known what that will mean for Devon and Cornwall Police's budget in 2015/16.
The axing of the grant for rural policing cost the force £3.1 million, on top of allocated cuts, while the Government's "damping" formula costs another £4.9 million a year – enough to pay for 100 officers.
In June, Mr Hogg and Mr Sawyer jointly wrote to the region's 18 MPs warning that local policing would face a "real threat" if the Home Office again adopts a "one-size fits all approach" to cutting budgets.
They said further reductions in the force's budget could cause "real damage".
They also warned that the number of officers on neighbourhood policing – regarded as the bedrock of modern policing – was already at a "critical level".