Since 1995, police forces in England and Wales have been able to raise revenues locally to supplement grants from central government. We analyse the variation across police force areas in locally raised police revenues over the 2000s, and we find that three‐quarters of the temporal and spatial variation in local revenues per head can be explained by differences in incomes, prices and local preferences. A particularly robust parameter is the effective local community tax price associated with raising revenue. We discuss the police funding model in the wider context of fiscal federalism, and we point to alternative funding structures that could be adopted.