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Extra police officers in Suffolk if £2 a month precept increase approved

Twenty nine extra police officers could be recruited in Suffolk under plans to generate £6.5 million through a rise in council tax precept.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, is consulting on raising the policing element of council tax by £2 a month - the maximum increase permitted.

He said: “I feel I have no choice but to consider the maximum increase because without it, the policing capability across the county would be compromised.”

Tim Passmore (6236275)
Tim Passmore (6236275)

If the police and crime panel supports the proposed £24 per annum increase, based on a Band D property, an extra 29 police officers will be recruited as well as 24 police staff investigators to deal with more complex and challenging investigations.

An extra 45 police staff would be employed to be shared with Norfolk and there would be investment in technology and equipment.

Mr Passmore said: “Difficult decisions need to be made but the overwhelming view of the public that I talk to say they want more officers policing the county and this proposal gives us exactly that.

“Every year costs go up but the Government funding does not increase at the same rate.

“My only realistic option is to raise the precept.”

The council tax precept will raise £6.5 million for Suffolk Police, which has also received a £1.3 million Home Office grant and a £1.2 million grant to fund the increase in employers’ contributions to the police pension scheme.

Accounting for cost pressures and savings, there will be £4.8 million extra in the policing budget for the next financial year.

Using the extra resource, Suffolk Police will create a team of 21 officers including three sergeants and 18 constables to use automatic number plate recognition to detect, deter and disrupt criminality across the county.

Eight extra police constables will be deployed in Ipswich to respond to community concerns.

A survey on the police and crime commissioner’s website www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk is asking whether the public supports the council tax precept increase.

Mr Passmore will present his plans to the police and crime panel for approval on January 25.

The papers for this meeting will be published five days before on www.suffolk.gov.uk

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