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Public opinion is sought for a proposal to increase Suffolk Police's share of the council tax bill

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore has confirmed he is proposing to raise the policing element of the council tax and wants to hear the public’s views.

December's general election has delayed the Home Office funding announcement, so the PCC is assuming an increase of 4 per cent to the policing precept, which will potentially raise a Band D bill by 70p a month.

The PCC is asking whether the public supports his proposals by taking part in a survey and explains why the increase is necessary.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore with Chief Constable Steve Jupp. Contributed picture
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore with Chief Constable Steve Jupp. Contributed picture

Mr Passmore said: “Since becoming PCC in 2012, each year I have had to make difficult decisions about the policing budget and how much I will ask you, as a Suffolk taxpayer, to pay towards the policing element of your council tax.

“Unfortunately, the timing of the recent General Election has meant that the normal cycle of funding announcements from central government was delayed.

"This leaves both myself and the Chief Constable in the difficult position of currently not knowing how much central funding we will receive, or what limits might be imposed on any increase in the policing element of council tax."

This additional resource from a precept increase will allow the Chief Constable to improve the standards of police investigations to bring more offenders to justice and enhance Suffolk Constabulary’s capacity and capability regarding pro-active policing to tackle serious and organised crime, county lines and knife crime.

A new commercial vehicle unit will make Suffolk’s roads safer and free flowing and additional officers and staff will enhance the Constabulary’s ability to prevent crime happening in the first place.

If Government limits the precept increase to 3 per cent (53p a month for Band D), these plans will have to be adapted accordingly.

Details will be updated on the PCC website as they become available.

The PCC will present his proposal to increase the policing element of the council tax to the Police and Crime Panel on January 31 for their approval.

The papers for this meeting will be published five days before on Suffolk County Council’s website.

Assuming the 70p a month precept increase (for a Band D property) this will provide the necessary funding the force needs to:

  • Provide additional investigators to the Constabulary’s Operation Sentinel team. This team was created as a result of last year’s precept increase to crackdown on criminals, protect local communities and tackle cross-border criminality. To date the team has achieved over 160 arrests for serious offences and is having a significant impact.
  • Create another Serious Crime Disruption team for the county to complement the existing team based in Ipswich that is effectively tackling issues such as drug supply and serious violence.
  • Provide an additional police officer for the countywide rural crime team which deals with a wide range of issues including vehicle and machinery theft, domestic abuse, incidents involving firearms, hare-coursing, wildlife crime, metal theft and arson.
  • Create a new Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit of specialist officers who can enhance the way we deal with dangerous vehicles or driver offences that contribute to serious collisions.
  • Enhance our outcome resolution team of detectives who work with convicted offenders to identify and respond to other offences they have committed.
  • Increase our neighbourhood policing teams across the county to focus on crime prevention and tackle emerging high-risk issues regarding missing people, modern day slavery and young people.
  • Create a new Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Scheme to reduce and prevent harm to vulnerable victims by recruiting additional staff to work with high risk and frequent domestic abuse offenders.

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