Paddy Tipping made a promise to the residents of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire that as Police and Crime Commissioner he would recruit 150 more police officers and 100 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
And that's just what he has done.
Announcing his budget for 2013-14, he revealed how he has earmarked funding and savings to make it happen - keeping his pledge to put more bobbies on the streets.
In a major investment in frontline policing, the Commissioner plans for 150 police officers to be recruited in 2013-14 and a further 120 police officers in each of the subsequent years. He has also budgeted for 35 PCSOs to be recruited in 2013-14 and 2014-15, with 30 more in 2015-16.
Revealing the details of his budget for 2013-14 at the Force's Watnall Training Centre, he said that he was pleased to be able to fulfil this pledge so soon.
He also plans to increase the amount of council tax paid towards policing (the precept) by 1.95% in 2013/14 to generate an additional £1m, in proposals to be presented to the Police and Crime Panel next Wednesday (6 February). At that meeting the members will be recommended to support the Commissioner's decision, which works out at less than a penny a day for the county's taxpayers.
The Commissioner said: "This increase is reflective of the Government's cut in funding and the unfair funding formula. We need to protect funding for policing, not just this year, but in the future, in order to fulfill our pledges and objectives. We need to make sure that crime continues to fall in Nottinghamshire - and you can't do that by cutting resources."
He went on: "I pledged to put more officers into Neighbourhood Policing Teams and I'm delighted that, in close consultation with Chief Constable Chris Eyre, I have been able to achieve sufficient savings to recruit 150 police officers next year.
"People continually tell me that this is what matters to them and I'm pleased that I have been able to meet my election pledges."
Mr Tipping's budget takes into account the financial challenges that Nottinghamshire Police continue to face due to a £42m - or 20% - cut over four years. "This means that Nottinghamshire is underfunded each year by £10.5m so there's a lot of work to be done in minimising the shortfall," he pointed out.
He said that his talks with members of the Force and with the Chief Constable have helped him to identify a number of areas where savings can be made and then reinvested to help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.
The proposed revenue budget is £196.9m. This year the Government offered a grant to freeze the precept, which was equivalent to a 1% increase in Council Tax, but this is just for one year. Consequently, the freeze grant offer for 2013-14 does not provide financial stability for the long term, and this has been considered against increasing the council tax charge for the people of Nottinghamshire.
Mr Tipping's proposed precept increase of 1.95% for the 2013-14 financial year will ensure the money is in the budget not just this year but in every year to follow.
Mr Tipping's election pledges were to:
- Campaign against Government funding cuts to Nottinghamshire's budget for policing.
- Improve Community Policing across Nottinghamshire by taking on 150 extra Police Officers and 100 Police Community Safety Officers.
- Reduce anti-social behaviour by 50%.
- Give extra priority and resources to domestic violence and crimes against girls and women.
- Ensure that the victims of crime are treated as people, not cases, and will properly fund victim support.
- Be fair, honest and protect taxpayers' money.
The financial reports on the Budget can be found here.
Posted on Wednesday 30th January 2013