Survey on increased Residents’ contribution to Policing Budget
Sunday, January 10th, 2021
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, is seeking residents’ views on a proposed increase to the policing element of council tax for 2021/22.
It is becoming the norm for the provisional police funding settlement to be partly contingent on households to pay a share of the proposed increase through Council Tax increases. (See our article “Increase in Police Element of Council Tax – Survey” from December 2018)
The Government is proposing now to increase funding available to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) by up to £703 million. This is provided all PCCs increase their council tax funding element (amounting in the case of a Band D household to £1.25 a month, or £15 a year in 2021/22), collectively raising £287 million, or 40% of the £703 million increase in funding.
For Thames Valley Police, the maximum cash increase would be £26.1m, £12.6m directly from central Government and £13.5m from Council Tax payers, in the event that this is approved by residents, and utilised in full. This said to provide funding for an additional 179 police officers, in addition to some 260 added in the past year.
Anthony Stansfeld, PCC for Thames Valley, said: “Despite the increase in funding from government, there continue to be cost pressures on the Force and the public rightly expect to see improving performance in order to keep us all safe and bring criminals to justice. Alongside the funding from the Home Office, the Government has also allowed Police and Crime Commissioners to increase council tax by up to £15 (for a Band D property) in order to make additional investments in policing. In Thames Valley that means that for less than 29p a week for the average household (Band D property) more than £13m could be invested in frontline policing.
“In previous years the support of local tax payers through their council tax has meant that we have managed to reduce the time it takes for the police to answer non-urgent 101 calls and to significantly increase detection rates, meaning that more victims of crime receive justice and more criminals are held to account.
“It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focussed on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public. I am proud of the work done by Thames Valley Police Officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers every single day, but there is always more that can be done.“
Within the survey, the following priorities for Thames Valley are listed:
- Boosting visible neighbourhood policing by recruiting more PCSOs in addition to the extra police officers being funded by the Government
- Creating a Rural Crime Taskforce in order to increase visibility, enforcement and prosecution across Thames Valley’s large number of rural communities
- Continuing to tackle the challenge of county lines drugs gangs by increasing the resources available to the Force to tackle the scourge of drugs on our streets
- Improving the response to fraud and cyber crime
- Continuing to improve the fight against domestic abuse to protect more families from harm
- New technology and equipment to optimise the benefit of the additional police officers
The survey is brief, asking whether the respondent is prepared to support in principle, supports the above priorities, and asks for some basic demographic details. It can be completed at https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90305410/Council-Tax-Survey-2021-22 and is open until 5pm on Wednesday 20th January 2020.
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