A major new survey has been launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe to understand what people think should be the priorities for policing in the year ahead and how this should be funded.
The ‘Your Police, Your Views’ survey forms an important part of the budget setting process for policing for the next financial year. The responses gathered will help to inform the decision on any changes made to the police element of Council Tax for 2023/24.
Mr Seccombe explained: “The cost-of-living crisis that all households are currently experiencing means that this winter is going to be difficult for many people. Economic forecasts predict that the year ahead will remain very challenging for individual finances, with many residents and businesses experiencing hardship.
“In the midst of this, I must begin the process of setting the budget for Warwickshire Police for the year ahead, assessing what funding is needed to maintain and improve services.
“Policing is not immune from the current economic pressures. Rising costs for fuel, energy and the goods and services used by the force all have an impact, as does the need to ensure fair wage increases for all those working for Warwickshire Police to help with the cost of living. These factors all mean there is already pressure on budgets just to stand still.
“It is against this backdrop that I must decide where the balance lies and how it should be paid for. To help inform that process, I want to understand how people perceive policing is performing in Warwickshire and what their personal experience of crime and anti-social behaviour has been.
“What is going well, what needs to be improved and how should the police prioritise what they do to make sure it matches what local people feel is important? These are the key questions that help shape how a future budget can be structured, alongside what level of funding might be needed to achieve it.
“I know that any change to Council Tax is always difficult and this year, more than ever, there will be a fine balance to strike. That’s why there are questions which ask for feedback on what people feel would be affordable or desirable.
“Overall, that means it is more important than ever for residents and businesses within Warwickshire to share their views over the next three months.
“My ‘Your Police, Your Views’ survey is your chance to influence what goes into the draft budget I put forward early in the New Year, so please do take the opportunity to have your say.”
Mr Seccombe will also be undertaking a range of community engagement meetings around the county to talk to communities and hear their views.
The first event is at Rugby Baptist Church Community Centre on Monday 19 September, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.*
Further events through to December will be published in due course locally and on the Commissioner’s website at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/events/
The ‘Your Police, Your Views’ survey runs until Friday, 16 December and can be found online at www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/yourviews/. Paper copies are also available on request by contacting the Commissioner’s offices in Warwick on 01926 733523.
*In light of the State Funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taking place earlier in the day, the September 19 event in Rugby has been postponed. A new date for this meeting will be confirmed in due course.