This financial year, policing in Derbyshire will cost approximately £165m, funded by a combination of government grant and local taxpayers’ contributions through their council tax payments. Two thirds of that funding is allocated by the government and has been reduced by some £27.5m during the period of austerity and to the present day. When inflation is factored in, that amounts to some £40m in cuts that has forced successive Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Chief Constables to make difficult decisions about the service that they provide to you.
The government’s promise to ‘protect’ police funding (dating back to November 2015 following the atrocities in Paris and reiterated every year since despite the constant threat of domestic terrorism) was made on the assumption that Commissioners would increase the precept (the policing element of your council tax bill) by 2% every year.
The most recent funding settlement for policing (issued on 19th December 2017) has provided for ‘flat cash’ in 2018/19 – but only if the Commissioner increases the policing element of your council tax bill by £12 next year. If he does not, the funding gap will worsen.
Policing is a constantly changing service, new threats and risks emerge which we have to face and address to keep Derbyshire safe. A recent joint-exercise with partners in Derbyshire identified substantial areas of work for the Force that included:
- Cyber Crime
- Protecting Vulnerable Children (Child Abuse & Child Sexual Exploitation)
- Domestic Abuse
- Sexual Violence
- Domestic Extremism
- Organised Crime
- Substance Misuse
- Anti-Social Behaviour
Many of these areas we are working on already but we need to do more to keep you safe. Our resources and funding are spread thinly. When we use our reserves it is like dipping into your savings, you simply can’t spend it twice. Derbyshire needs more annual funding for its policing services. That is why the Commissioner has worked hard since he took office to fight for more government funding and that is why he has been left with no choice but to increase the policing element of your council tax bill each year.
Reluctantly, the Commissioner proposes to increase the precept by £12 in 2018/19 (23p per week or 6.6% extra). That increase would generate up to £4.5m per year and is equivalent to the costs of employing around 100 police officers.
The Commissioner would like to know how you feel about the proposal and the further questions within this survey. The deadline for responses is midnight on Wednesday 17 January 2018.