Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe’s proposals to increase the funding available for policing, community safety and support services for victims have been given unanimous backing by the county’s Police and Crime Panel.
It means the Commissioner’s plans to boost police officer numbers, increase proactive policing and prevention activity and deliver enhanced services for victims of crime can now go ahead.
Speaking to the members of the Panel at Shire Hall in Warwick on February 5, Mr Seccombe said that setting the budget each year was one of the biggest responsibilities of the role. He described it as a difficult balancing act in ensuring that communities receive the protection they deserve while also equipping the Chief Constable with the resources to uphold operational effectiveness and efficiency.
As revealed last week when the financial plans were first published, the 2024/25 budget is forecast to deliver:
- Improved engagement and visibility by Warwickshire Police,
- An increase in proactive policing and prevention activity,
- Improved victim care and a victim-centred focus within investigation activity,
- Increases in the number of suspects brought to justice, with dedicated resources focused on important crime types such as retail theft, vehicle crime and burglary.
- An extra focus on anti-social behaviour by police and partners
- Improved health and wellbeing for officers and staff.
- An additional 10 police officers, bringing the force strength up to 1,125.
- Five town centre police officers, with one each per district/borough.
The cross-party group of local councillors and independent members which make up the Police and Crime Panel questioned the Commissioner on his proposals, before voting unanimously to support the budget.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I am pleased to have secured unanimous cross-party support for my budget proposals, which are designed to continue the programme of improvement that Warwickshire Police has been undertaking and to deliver further enhancements in the year ahead.
“As well as funding 10 more police officer posts, the budget gives additional funding to tackle the priorities that local residents and businesses highlighted to me as being most important to them. This includes improving visibility and tackling anti-social behaviour.
“While any decision to raise the Police Precept is not one I take lightly, it’s been one that has been necessary. Without the increased funding it delivers, there would have been a budget shortfall of nearly £3 million, which would have almost certainly resulted in a reduced service to the public.
“I am pleased to have been able to avoid this and it’s clear from the feedback I’ve received over the past few months that this will be supported by the majority of people, who want to see increased funding for policing, even if that means increased taxation.
“The Chief Constable has committed to delivering against the improvements outlined in the budget and has the resources to do so. I will be supporting her to do this and tracking progress carefully to ensure that taxpayers can see tangible improvements as quickly as possible.”
The budget sets an increase to the Police Precept of 4.7% in 2024/25, equivalent to around 25 pence per week or £13 per year on a Band D property. The full charges for the year ahead will be notified to households by District and Borough Councils across the county, once all local authority, parish and fire budgets have been approved in the coming weeks.
You can find out more information about what you will pay for policing in 2024/25 at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/counciltax.