Each year the Police and Crime Commissioner must set the budget for Policing in Derbyshire.
The consultation for the 2017-18 budget ran between 1 December 2016 – 31 December 2016 and is now closed with over 470 responses received.
The cost of policing Derbyshire in 2017/18 will be about £165million. About two thirds of this is funded by Government grant and about one third is from Council Tax. The Government grant cuts are expected to continue. 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.
Previous concerns about possible large reductions in government grant to support policing have abated somewhat. Following the atrocities in Paris, the Chancellor made a Comprehensive Spending Review promise not to reduce overall police funding. But this will only work if the Commissioner increases the policing element of the council tax by the maximum allowed of 2%. Even then this means the budget has to accommodate new costs like the increase for the apprenticeship levy and pensions costs for staff automatically being in the pension scheme (both nation-wide initiatives across all businesses).
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.
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 £1.77 more per year.
A 2% increase would raise about £1million per year and cost an extra £3.54 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.
For more information, an electronic leaflet has been developed which outlines further details about the Council Tax Budget for Policing. This can be accessed below.