Statement from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire
Thank you for the overwhelming support you have given me throughout my term of office. As a result, we have been able to recruit more police officers and start to reinvigorate some of the policing services which suffered as a result of the funding cuts in the austerity years. But the job isn’t done yet.
The government has yet again passed the responsibility for adequately funding policing to you, the local council taxpayer. I, and fellow PCCs, have campaigned relentlessly for a proper funding settlement from central government rather than sidestep this by asking local people to pay more council tax. I assure you that I will continue to push that case on your behalf with the government.
To protect policing in Derbyshire the Chief Constable’s advice to me is that we have to seriously consider the full precept increase expected by the government. Anything less than £15 (29p 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%.
The damage done by austerity is still being felt in Derbyshire. We lost the best part of 300 police staff alongside over 400 police officers due to austerity. It is really important to protect the progress that we have made in recent years.
I appreciate that many people are facing financial difficulties due to Covid-19 and I assure you that I wouldn’t be considering the full increase if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
The survey closed on 10th January 2021.
The Commissioner was eager to discuss these funding increase proposals with residents of Derbyshire and arranged two online Q&A sessions in January.