Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner today announced that he is proposing a 6.8 per cent increase in the policing element of the council tax, which could see an increase of £12 a year per household in the next financial year.
PCC Tim Passmore will present the proposal, which would see the average payment for the policing element of the council tax in Suffolk increase from £176.85 to £188.82 per year, to the Police and Crime Panel for consideration at a meeting next week.
If approved, the constabulary’s budget would gain an extra £2.9 million in the next financial year, which the police hope will help maintain police visibility on the county’s roads to prevent criminal access to the county and keep road users safe.
It would also provide further investment in technology to help tackle the changing profile of criminality and improve the proactive capability of the constabulary to help combat drug misuse and youth gang violence.
The extra cash will also help to improve emergency response and enhance the effectiveness of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
“In setting the precept I understand the impact that this increase will have on residents and it has not been an easy decision but I really have no option if we are going to maintain policing in the county. I hope the Police and Crime Panel understand why I have made my decision and support the proposal,” said Mr Passmore.
“I am very disappointed that the Policing Minister chose not to look at a fairer funding formula. The government’s decision to allow PCC’s to increase the police precept has placed the burden directly on the Suffolk taxpayer. My decision to raise the precept to the maximum amount of £12 per year for a band D household will provide around £2.9million extra for next year. However, as the government grant of £69.5m for next year is exactly the same as this year, this means the Constabulary will still need to make savings.
“Before making the decision to propose increasing the precept to the maximum level I sought views and I was reassured that the majority of the people that responded to the survey (66%) said they were prepared to accept the £12 a year increase. This extra money will help us to continue to keep you safe and meet some of the financial challenge that we face in the coming financial year.”
The Police and Crime Panel will meet on Friday, January 26 at Endeavour House in Bury St Edmunds to discuss the PCC’s proposal. This is a public meeting which starts at 10.30am.