Vera Baird

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Investing in Policing for the Future

6th February 2018

The Police and Crime Panel for Northumbria have unanimously approved the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed increase to the police precept (the police element of the council tax) of 15p per week for a Band A property or 23p for a Band D property. This will allow Northumbria Police to continuing delivering the priorities local residents set in the Police and Crime plan and to serve our communities.

Following public consultation, which was overwhelmingly complimentary about the police and supportive of the rise, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, said:

“The government continues to move the responsibility of paying for policing from central government to local council tax payers.  The government have set Northumbria’s budget by assuming a £12 increase on Band D properties.  If this increase did not go ahead it would mean a reduction of over £5 million to our budget and this would inevitably effect frontline policing.  Local residents have told me that they want to keep officers on the beat, to ensure this happens I have had to follow the recommended budget proposal from government.”

The government continues to cut police funding, since 2010, Northumbria’s budget has been cut by over £135 million.  Despite government claims, the only way our police budget will not be cut, is if every PCC in the country raises their precept by the maximum amount possible. The Government is telling PCCs to increase the precept by the sum of £12 per band D house per year.

“Neighbourhood policing is what local residents want to see maintained along with ensuring the force is equipped to deal with any emergencies.  I’m therefore left with no choice but to raise the precept to ensure the police have the resources to tackle crime and continue delivering excellent neighbourhood policing”

“Northumbria still has the lowest police precept in the country at £73.55 for a Band A property.  Despite continued tough government cuts, local prudent financial planning has allowed us to recruit new police officers, I am also committed to ensuring that we have funds to tackle all emergency eventualities, as this will go a long way in ensuring that we always remain prepared to deliver excellent policing”

The Government did not consult either me or the public before dictating this course of action but we have asked the public for their views and I am pleased that an overwhelming majority of responses (80%) accepted the need to invest in neighbourhood policing and expressed the view that a small increase for a Band A property is worth paying for that added security.”

Chair of the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel Cllr Angela Douglas, said: “ It is clear that the Commissioner has consulted far and wide to find out what local people see as their priorities for our police service.  To ensure this is delivered, she must meet the financial demands that this brings and there is no other alternative than to agree to the government’s requirement of increasing the Band D precept by £12”.