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Your Police, Your Views

Take the 'Your Police, Your Views' surveyThe public are being asked for their feedback on plans by Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe to boost police officer numbers further and deliver improvements to how Warwickshire Police delivers services to county residents and businesses.

It comes as Mr Seccombe publishes his draft proposals for funding Warwickshire Police in 2024/25. The proposed budget would support improvements to how the force engages with the public, investigates crime and supports victims, while also protecting the health and wellbeing of the workforce.

As well as sustaining the new policing model introduced in 2023, the budget secures funding to recruit 10 more police officers, continuing a record-breaking increase in numbers and allowing the force to reach a strength of 1,125 during 2024/25. This will include new town centre beat officers to boost visibility and enable a greater focus on retail crime and anti-social behaviour.

A further £1 million of ‘hot spot’ funding is also due to be allocated from the Home Office next year to tackle anti-social behaviour across the county.

The Commissioner’s proposed budget also boosts crime prevention activity, with teams focused on prolific offenders and those parts of the county which suffer the highest levels of crime. Continued improvement will also be made in the timeliness of answering calls for service from the public, particularly non-emergency 101 calls, through investment in live chat and callback services.

In addition, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office will spend more than £2.8 million providing a range of specialist support services for victims of crime, including survivors of rape and sexual violence, domestic abuse and child exploitation, alongside drug and alcohol rehabilitation services designed to support people away from crime.

Proposing the budget, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I’ve listened carefully to the feedback residents and businesses have given me over the past three months through the ‘Your Police, Your Views’ survey and it’s clear that an overwhelming majority of the public favours increased funding for police services in Warwickshire, provided that delivers improved services which they can clearly see and feel the benefit of.

“The budget I’m therefore proposing delivers the funding the Chief Constable needs to be able to continue the programme of improvement for Warwickshire Police, enabling better outcomes for victims and more offenders to be brought to justice. It not only sustains the increases in police officer numbers seen in recent years but seeks to enhance these further, helping bolster our Safer Neighbourhood Teams with continued recruitment of PCSOs and additional capability in our town centres.

“It’s essential that every penny of this brings improved outcomes for the public and the Chief Constable has committed to deliver improvements across the key areas that matter most to local residents and businesses.

“I am also pleased that we are due to receive £1 million this year in Home Office funding, which is ring-fenced to tackle anti-social behaviour hot spot areas, which I know is a strong concern among our local communities.

“While we have received some increases in funding from Central Government, this alone will not cover the rising costs of policing and enable the other service improvements that we want to deliver. The force has delivered a combined total of around £6 million in efficiency savings over the last three years and we have longer term plans in place to deliver a further £1.1 million next year and a minimum of £2 million across the following two years.

“With around 70% of our costs being largely fixed through pay and pensions, it is difficult to make a great deal of further savings without impacting frontline services. That’s why I am proposing to increase the police element of Council Tax next year by 4.7% in order to give the Chief Constable the funding needed to sustain and improve services to the public, as well as ensuring officers and staff are paid properly for what they do, with the right equipment, buildings and facilities to be as effective as possible.

“This equates to 25p per week extra for an average Band D household and, while I know there are pressures on all of our budgets, I do think this will be affordable for the majority, particularly as most households in the county will pay less as they are on lower Council Tax bands.

“I want to ensure that these proposals have the public’s support, so I am launching the second phase of my ‘Your Police, Your Views’ survey before I make my final proposal at the end of January.  Please do go online, read the information about what the budget will deliver and have your say before the survey closes.”

Full details of the what the budget will deliver and information about what it would mean for each Council Tax banding is included in the survey.

** Please note, the survey has now closed**