Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa is asking householders whether they are prepared to pay £1 a month extra for policing to tackle growing crime threats.
The Commissioner has launched a public consultation in response to yesterday’s “flat cash” settlement announcement which depends on PCCs increasing council tax to plug the funding gap.
In Derbyshire, this would see householders pay £12 extra a year (6.6%) on the policing proportion of the council tax bill in 2018-19– an additional £1 a month or 23p per week. This would net the force an extra £4.5m each year and is equivalent to the costs of employing around 100 police officers.
In 2019-20, the income from the rise would be between £4.5m and £5m.
Before making any decision, the Commissioner is consulting the public to gauge the level of support for an increase and has launched an online survey.
“The threats facing modern society are different to what they were a decade ago. Policing must stay one step ahead and this means investing in the right people and technology to counter the risks,” said Mr Dhindsa.
“We cannot spread our resources any thinner than we are already without compromising public safety and losing our ability to respond effectively when people need us. Increasing council tax is never an easy choice but with no alternative source of income to plug the gap it’s vital for the long-term safety of our county.”
Policing in Derbyshire costs about £165m per year and is funded by a combination of government grant and local taxpayers’ contributions through council tax payments.
The funding settlement from the government accounts for two thirds of the costs but this has been reduced by some £27.5m during the austerity years up to the present day.
When inflation is factored in, that amounts to some £40m in cuts that has forced successive PCCs and Chief Constables to make tough choices about how and where they spend their money.
The government pledged to “protect” police funding in 2015 – a promise that has been reiterated every year since on the assumption PCCs increase the precept (the policing element of the council tax bill) by 2% every year.
This year’s settlement, announced on Tuesday (19 December), 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.
To complete the survey visit: www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Budget2018-19
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017