Today (13 Dec 2018) the Government announced that the limit imposed on the amount of council tax paid towards policing has been raised to £24 a year for an average household in 2019-20. This is £12 more per annum than anticipated this time last year.
He also said that the Government would increase the core grant for police forces by £146m. in addition to this there is a further specific grant of just over £140m from the Treasury to cover unexpected pension costs to forces.
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “The increase in the council tax precept will raise around £509m nationally. All together this means around £4.7m more to help us meet the additional cost pressures faced by Nottinghamshire Police.
“To put it bluntly, we need the money. After years of funding cuts during which we saw officer numbers fall to their lowest level in 30 years and in Nottinghamshire alone £54m has been wiped off our funding. Something had to change.
“This increase in funding is much-needed. Nationally crime is rising, not just violent crime, but across the board. The nature of crime is increasingly complex. It’s critical that the police have the resources to tackle these problems. Most importantly, this is what the public tell me they want.”
If the Home Secretary’s proposals get the go ahead, it will mean that the police precept – the amount of money raised locally via the Council Tax – can be raised by £24 per year for an average (Band D) household.
At present the precept for a Band D property in Nottinghamshire stands at £195.39 per year. If the Government’s proposals are agreed it could rise to £219.39 although most Nottinghamshire residents will pay less as the majority live in Band A and B properties.
Paddy Tipping said that his first concern would be to consult local people to see how they felt the money should be used.
“I think that people want to see neighbourhood policing strengthened. They tell me they want to retain the number of PCSOs. I know that they have concerns about knife crime and violence of all types. But no decisions will be made until we have asked people how they feel the money should be used.”
Last year, the Government stipulated that any increases in funding for 2019-20 would be dependent on forces and PCCs delivering measurable efficiencies, particularly with regards to procurement. A further condition on better use of new technology was also imposed. Nottinghamshire has met these terms.
The PCC concluded saying: “This increase is absolutely necessary, but it isn’t going to solve all our challenges. There will still be tough decisions to be made, but not quite as tough as they might have been. I think the public understand that. They, like me, simply want to be safe in their homes and communities and they have already indicated their willingness to pay more to achieve that.”
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Posted on Thursday 13th December 2018