A consultation has been launched to give the public a say on proposals to boost funding for policing in Warwickshire through an increase in the police’s share of council tax in 2018/19.
The proposals by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe will help to ensure a good service for local communities now and in the future, ensure that frontline policing is protected while giving financial stability to Warwickshire Police.
He is asking residents to choose from options of increasing the police precept – that’s the portion of council tax that is used to fund policing – by amounts of £12, £10 or £8 per year on an average Band D property in the county.
The three options are as follows:-
- Option 1 – increase the police precept by £12 per year (on a Band D property). This equates to a rise of 6.25% and would mean a Band D taxpayer would pay an extra £1 per month. This funding option would mean the force could retain around 33 police officer posts that might otherwise have been lost.
- Option 2 – increase the police precept by £10 per year year (on a Band D property). This equates to a rise of 5.21% and would mean a Band D taxpayer would pay around an extra 83 pence per month. This funding option would mean the force could retain around 25 police officer posts that might otherwise have been lost.
- Option 3 – increase the police precept by £8 per year (on a Band D property). This equates to a rise of 4.17% and would mean a Band D taxpayer would pay around an extra 67 pence per month. This funding option would mean the force could retain around 18 police officer posts that might otherwise have been lost.
If the maximum £12 increase was applied in Warwickshire an additional £1.7 million. Together with the funding settlement from central government, this option would mean that the total budget for Warwickshire Police could increase by £2.9 million.
Whichever option is chosen, the Commissioner has pledged to invest the extra money raised through the police precept on frontline policing, to maximise the number of police officers the force can retain, while still ensuring Warwickshire Police delivers on its efficiency savings.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Despite the major transformations happening within our force, which have raised efficiency and been recognised by our external inspectors as ’ambitious and innovative’, the simple reality is that the police require more funding just to maintain current service levels.
“This means I am not in a position to be able to freeze the police precept once again. To do so would leave the force with a significant shortfall in funding and some very unpalatable decisions to make over a reduced level of service to the public.
“I am therefore proposing to increase the police precept for 2018/19, in order to protect frontline policing and ensure that I can deliver a safer and more secure Warwickshire. But I know these remain difficult financial times for many people and that’s why I have put forward a number of options, with varying levels of increase.
“I’m really keen to hear the public’s views on all of these options before I make my final decision on the precept level in the New Year. I want to hear from as wide a spectrum as possible across the county, so please do take some time to look at the proposals and give me your feedback.”
The survey can be completed at www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/preceptsurvey and the consultation will close on Friday January 19, 2018.