Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has welcomed the backing of the Police and Crime Panel for his budget proposals which will fund additional police officers and investments in new technology to support front line policing.
At the Shire Hall in Warwick, members of the panel voted unanimously to support proposals to raise the Police Precept (the portion of Council Tax which helps pay for policing services in Warwickshire) by 4.38%. This equates to £9.99 a year, or less than 20p per week for an average Band D property.
In return, the Commissioner has pledged to fund:
- Major improvements in the infrastructure of Warwickshire Police, including investment in state-of-art IT systems and supporting services, to ensure police officers have the best possible support to be effective and efficient when dealing with incidents and protecting people from harm;
- 10 extra patrol police officers (five based in the north of the county, five in the south) to respond to 101 and 999 emergency calls;
- An additional 13 detectives to a specialist team looking at child abuse, trafficking and exploitation;
- 12 more uniformed firearms and roads policing officers
- An expanded Rural Crime team, with double the number of officers to allow a separate north and south team to be created.
- Establishing a Warwickshire-based and focused Firearms Licensing Team at Leek Wootton.
Other investments will also be made to support functions such as human resources to ensure that the force can recruit, support and sustain the increased numbers of police officers being planned.
Reacting to the panel’s support, Mr Seccombe said: “I am pleased that the Panel has supported my proposals to continue investing in front line policing in Warwickshire, as well as recognising the very important improvements that are needed in the infrastructure which sits behind all policing activity in order to make it operate successfully, effectively and more efficiently.
“In the past year, we have seen police numbers rise from 800 to over a 1,000 in Warwickshire and with this budget now approved, we will continue to see those numbers grow. I want Warwickshire Police to look to the future with confidence so the extra funding from the Government and through the Police Precept is very welcome.
“There are still significant financial pressures which will need to be carefully managed over the coming years and I will be ensuring that there is a continued focus by the force on tight financial management. It is essential that taxpayers can see that their money is being spent wisely and is delivering real improvements to the services they receive, so this is something I will be carefully overseeing.
“I will also continue to argue the case with ministers that the current formula which decides how much of the central government funding each force receives is unfair to smaller rural forces. It also cannot be right that Council Tax payers in other parts of the country pay less for policing than in Warwickshire and yet are able to fund more officers per head of population. I hope this will be addressed with reforms to the funding formula and that the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review can also provide longer term certainty for police finances than the current single-year settlements provide.”
Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: “This increased funding for policing in Warwickshire is extremely positive news and will enable additional growth in the numbers of officers and staff, as well as funding the much needed improvements to the infrastructure which sits behind front line policing to enable it to be effective.”
Police Precept – what will you pay?
As a result of the budget proposals being accepted by the Police and Crime Panel, households will see the following changes for the Police Precept element of their Council Tax in 2020/21:
|Council Tax Band||2019/20 (Yearly charge)||2020/21 (Yearly charge)|
*Council Tax bands are calculated to four decimal places but are presented here to two, which may mean they vary by plus/minus 0.01p.