Each year the Police and Crime Commissioner must set the budget for Policing in Derbyshire.
The cost of policing Derbyshire in 2016/17 will be about £162million. About two thirds of this is funded by Government grant and about one third is from Council Tax. The Government grant has been cut every year since 2010. Despite this, recorded crime used in Government statistics has generally continued to fall in Derbyshire but there is clear evidence that digital crime and cyber-crime, not included in the statistics, are increasing significantly.
There were concerns earlier in the year about possible large reductions in government grant to support policing. Following the atrocities in Paris, the Chancellor made a Comprehensive Spending Review promise not to reduce overall police funding. But this only works if the Commissioner increases the policing element of the council tax by 2%. Even then this only means a standstill budget that has to accommodate new costs like the increase to national insurance of £3m.
The Commissioner and the Chief Constable have been working hard to balance the budget, to identify savings to re-allocate to areas of high policing risk and to enable police officer recruitment to continue.
Let us know your views
The Commissioner intends, reluctantly, to increase the Council Tax for policing by a moderate amount.
Each 1% increase in the Council Tax precept generates approximately £500,000 per year in additional funding for Derbyshire Police and would cost a Band D Council Tax payer roughly £1.74 more per year.
A 2% increase would raise about £1million per year and cost an extra £3.47 per year for a band D property.
To put this into context £1million is what it costs to pay for approximately 20-25 Police Officers.
Any freeze or reduction in the precept would result in a greater reduction in police officer numbers and impact on the level of service provided.
The Commissioner’s intention for 2016/17 is to increase the police precept element of Council Tax in line with the assumptions and expectations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer at 2%. This will also probably be within the general precept increase limit set by the government, which we won’t know until February 2016. Increases above the limit will trigger a referendum.
Please let us know what you think about these proposals by completing a short survey below.
Please note, the closing date is Friday 22nd January at 12.00 noon.