Council tax increase would result in more police officers for Suffolk if approved
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore is proposing to raise the policing element of the council tax by £2 a month and wants to hear the public’s views.
If it goes ahead this will see an additional 29 police officers recruited to the force.
This additional resource will allow the Chief Constable to enhance police visibility and pro-activity across the county, and increase the Constabulary’s capacity to deal with more complex investigations which is what residents of Suffolk have asked for.
A survey on the PCC’s website is asking whether the public supports his proposals and explains why the increase is necessary.
Mr Passmore said: “On 13 December the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd made his announcement about police funding for the next financial year.
"The Minister has given PCCs the ability to raise the policing element of the precept by up to £24 per annum for a Band D property.
“This has put me in a very difficult position, but I feel I have no choice but to consider the maximum increase because without it, the policing capability across the county would be compromised.”
If the Police and Crime Panel supports the proposal the £24 increase, based on a Band D property, will see an extra 29 police officers on our streets along with 24 Suffolk police staff investigators and a share of 45 police staff with Norfolk and a much-needed investment in technology and equipment to deal with modern-day challenges in the county.
Mr Passmore added: “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 Chief Constable has presented his plan for the next financial year and has assured the PCC that his two major concerns - the increase in violent and drug-related crime and improved visibility - will be addressed.
This proposal will see eight new police officers in our county town and a targeted squad of 21 officers to fight drugs and serious violence which will operate across the county.
Based on the assumption of a £24 per annum increase, the PCC will raise £6.5m through the policing element of your council tax, along with the home office grant of £1.3m and a one-off grant of £1.2m to help fund the increase in the employers’ contributions to the police pension scheme.
In all, the policing budget will be increased by £9.2m.
Once we have accounted for unavoidable cost pressures and added the savings made throughout the year, this will give us a total of £4.8m extra for the policing budget for the next financial year.
Full details of how this is accounted for is available on the PCC’s website www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk.
The PCC will present his proposal to increase the policing element of the council tax to the Police and Crime Panel on January 25 for their approval.
The papers for this meeting will be published five days before on Suffolk County Council's website, www.suffolk.gov.uk.