Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, is asking for public views on the Government’s decision to ask local taxpayers to boost the funding for policing.
Launching his annual budget survey he said that the Government’s claim that ‘Policing will receive £10.5m in Derbyshire’ in 2021-22 is actually conditional on the public paying an additional £15 per year (based on a band-D property).
He explained: “The public have overwhelmingly supported investment in policing services throughout my term of office and I am grateful for that. We have repaid that faith with investment in additional officers and boosting services that people have prioritised.
“I am very disappointed that now, in year when so many are facing financial and other challenges never seen before in this country, the Government has chosen once again to put the bill for funding policing sufficiently at the foot of local people.
“That’s why I am asking the public for their views. Bluntly, if we don’t implement the £15 a year increase, there will be cuts. We will employ less people. We will not have effective resources to do what we need to do. The public will be less satisfied with the service and feel less safe.
“Anything less than £15 (less than 30p per week) from a Band-D equivalent taxpayer will mean at best standing still and at worst, force the Chief Constable to make new cuts to policing services.
“It is also disappointing that, despite the Government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 additional police officers (Derbyshire’s share is 283) by March 2023, it has already reduced the number we will receive next year by 30%.
“We are still not back where we were in 2010, before we lost around 400 officers and 300 police staff due to the funding cuts. Despite campaigning for a fair deal for policing, PCCs around the country are wrestling with this conundrum. It means hard choices and difficult decisions.
“That’s why I am consulting the public. This is their police service. I really don’t want to place a further financial burden on local people but faced with stark choices I have no option but to seek their opinion.
The survey will be circulated widely to the Commissioner’s consultation base. It is also available on his website
www.derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/Budget2021-22 where anyone who lives in Derbyshire is invited to complete it.
Media enquiries: Sallie Blair 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 23rd December 2020