Investing in neighbouhood policing
10 Feb 2017 12:34 PM[View Full Size]
The Police and Crime Panel for Northumbria have unanimously approved the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed increase to the police precept (the police element of the council tax) of 7p per week for a band A property or 10p for a Band D property. This will allow Northumbria Police to recruit new police officers to serve our communities.
Following public consultation, which was mainly complimentary about the police and supportive of the rise, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:
"The government continues to cut police funding, since 2010 Northumbria’s has had to make £123million of cuts and efficiencies to manage the impact of government funding reductions. Despite government claims, the only way our police budget will not be cut, it is if every PCC in the country raises their precept by the maximum amount possible. The government is telling the ten police forces with the lowest police precept to increase by the sum of £5 per band D house per year and Northumbria is one of those forces.
"Local residents have told me that they value neighbourhood policing and to ensure Northumbria continues to deliver effective policing, I’m left with no choice but to raise the precept to ensure the police have the resources to cut crime and continue delivering excellent neighbourhood policing for the people of Northumbria.
"Northumbria still has the lowest police precept in the country at £65.55 for a Band A property. Despite tough government cuts, local prudent financial planning has allowed us to recruit new police officers. This is delivering my pledge to invest in neighbourhood policing and increase community confidence and help preserve high policing standards and the force’s national reputation for victim satisfaction"
The Government did not consult either me or the public before dictating this course of action but we have asked the public for their views and I am pleased to say that over 80% of responses accepted the need to invest in neighbourhood policing and expressed the view that an extra penny a day for a Band A property is a small increase to pay for that added security."
Councillor John McElroy, Chair of the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel, said:
"The panel are disappointed at having to approve an increase in the precept of this level, but we seem to have no alternative.
"It’s important that the Police and Crime Commissioner delivers the priorities of local residents, who have said loud and clear that they value neighbourhood policing. To ensure this is delivered, the Commissioner has looked at all budgets and determined that she must meet the government’s requirement of increasing the Band D precept by £5. This will be invested to ensure our communities remain safe."
Northumbria Police Chief Constable Steve Ashman said:
"This increase will assist us to maintain our services in light of reductions to our policing budget which, in real terms, has reduced by 23 per cent (£123 million). This is more than any other Police Force in the country. The additional money from the precept will help protect the services that we currently offer and allow us to provide the policing service which our communities deserve."