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Budget to raise Police numbers goes before Police and Crime Panel

PCC Hardyal Dhindsa and Chief Constable Peter Goodman are set to present their plans to boost police visibility to Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Panel this week. 

The proposed budget, and associated policing precept, for policing and community safety in Derbyshire 2019/20 will be put before the Panel on Thursday, 24 January at County Hall, Matlock.

This budget, if the precept gets the go-ahead from the Panel, will:

  • Enable the recruitment of 120 additional officers and staff
  • Increase police visibility
  • Improve Road Safety
  • Provide greater support to vulnerable people, including those in mental health crisis
  • Enhance investigative policing

In developing this year’s budget, the Commissioner has worked with the Chief Constable to respond to calls for greater police visibility and address areas highlighted to him by the public as a matter of concern.  His proposed revenue budget for 2019/20 of £181.016M is an increase of £11.846M over last year’s figure of £169.170M.

The growth in workforce numbers will be afforded by the planned increase in Council Tax proposed by the Government and a contribution from reserves.  Back in December 2018 the Government made it quite clear that in 2019/20 it expects Police and Crime Commissioners to increase the amount of council tax paid towards policing by £24 (12.5%) for a Band D property in the coming year.  This will take the total amount paid towards policing in Derbyshire by a Band D household to £216.60.

Hardyal Dhindsa said: “While I’m disappointed that the Government has chosen to place the burden of a fairer deal for policing on local taxpayers rather than increasing the grant from central government, I must protect public safety.

“Since 2010 we have seen real term cuts of £40M which has resulted in over 400 fewer police officers and a similar reduction in police staff.

Hardyal Dhindsa said: “People continually tell me that they want to see more police officers.  That doesn’t happen without additional funding.  Increasing the police portion of the council tax bill is the way that the Government has chosen to boost the police funds.”

Alongside details of the proposed budget, The Panel will hear that the Commissioner’s survey, running since 20 November 2018, shows that the majority of respondents are willing to pay more towards policing.  Of 1660 responses 71.3% said they were willing to pay £12 or more.

The PCC will tell the Panel that the Government’s settlement and precept flexibility are by no means a permanent solution to our funding challenges with significant uncertainty over future funding. The Force is still having to use £1m of its reserves to fund the budget deficit, despite the proposed £24 increase in Precept and the Force and the PCC will continue to lobby for extra funding as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

Details:

 

Council Tax per Banding

BAND

2018/19

2019/20

 

£

£

A

128.40

144.40

B

149.80

168.47

C

171.20

192.53

D

192.60

216.60

E

235.40

264.73

F

278.20

312.87

G

321.00

361.00

H

385.20

433.20

 

Additional Officers and Staff

The budget enables an increase in Derbyshire’s police officer establishment of 58 and a further 62 police staffduring 2019/20 to boost capacity, particularly in safer neighbourhood teams and roads policing.

  • 42 new posts into the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) with a further eight Officers transferred to SNTs from Response
  • 22 new Detective Staff Investigators who will support neighbourhood safeguarding units and focus on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s priorities of public protection and tackling domestic abuse. This will secure a resilient and vital resource in the Force to help prevent and detect crime.
  • 28 new Police Constables in local policing units in the North and South of the County to rebalance the capacity following cuts to police officer numbers in previous years.
  • Five new Police Constables in the Countywide Rural Crime Team allowing the Safer Neighbourhood Teams to focus on their local communities and providing a dedicated team to tackle rural crime across the County.
  • Seven new Police Constables and one new Sergeant for Roads Policing to help address the unacceptable number of road deaths in Derbyshire this year with over 50 people losing their life. This investment will allow the Force to cover times of peak demand and build a more resilient and effective roads policing presence.
  • Seven new members of staff to develop and support the analytical capability of the Force to provide risk and community-focussed intelligence to enable front-line resources to be targeted at the areas of greatest risk and threat.
  • Investment in work to prevent crime, including issues such Domestic Abuse, and additional Mental Health support plus one new Sergeant.  The aim is to protect the most vulnerable in Derbyshire, working closely with partner organisations, in particular the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance Services.
  • Investment in new technology including Tasers, Drones and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) capability to support and protect the front-line to include four new Police Constables and one ANPR member of staff.
  • A further two temporary criminal justice members of staff to boost the criminal justice capacity.

Ends

Posted on Tuesday 22nd January 2019
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