- Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Panel today backed the PCC’s recommendation for a 3.7% increase in council tax to pay for more growth in local policing
- The increase will add £10 to the annual bill for a Band D taxpayer, the equivalent of just under 20p per week and raise an extra £3.1m
- It will enable the Constabulary to balance its books and the Police and Crime Commissioner to begin implementing his election manifesto plans
- A public consultation asking householders if they were willing to pay more for policing ran from 5-30 January.
- Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson said, “My first budget will the see the biggest increase in police officers and staff in a generation. Over the next two financial years the Constabulary will increase in size by more than 400 personnel, split roughly 50:50 between full time and volunteer officers and staff.”
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Panel today unanimously backed Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson’s plans for an increase in council tax that will enable him to continue his ambitious rebuilding programme.
An increase of 3.7% will add £10 to a band D householder’s annual bill, the equivalent of just under 20p per week and raise an extra £3.1m.
It will enable the Constabulary to balance its books and the PCC to begin fulfilling the promises on which he was elected almost a year ago including:
- Putting more police on the streets
- Tackling anti-social behaviour
- Making it quicker and easier to contact the Constabulary in times of need
- Investing in the Citizens in Policing programme to build new links and partnerships within communities
- Innovating in the use of Special Constabulary and volunteer Police Community Support Officers to bring the best of volunteering into the emergency sector
- Continuing to support community projects aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour through the Commissioner’s Fund.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Chris Nelson said, “My first budget will the see the biggest increase in police officers and staff in a generation.
“Over the next two financial years the Constabulary will increase in size by more than 400 personnel, split roughly 50:50 between full time and volunteer officers and staff.
“The £10 rise in council tax takes account of the pressures on household finances and is much lower than the £13.9 average annual increase over the last few years.
I believe 20p per week extra, to correct historical under investment, is a measured and proportionate response to improve essential services, which the vast majority of people who voted for me said they wanted.
“In year one of the national Uplift Programme, 2020/21, the Constabulary increased the number of officers by 46; the current year is on target to recruit a further 46 officers and over the next twelve months we will recruit another 61.
“I am grateful for the Police and Crime Panel’s strong endorsement. Planning this budget has been a challenge having inherited a substantial deficit.
“Reserves had been depleted, ICT infrastructure and systems required updating and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate had identified areas requiring urgent improvement. On top of that, the Constabulary is one of the worst-funded in the country, relying on council tax to make up the shortfall, and yet council tax increases have been limited.
“Providing the Chief Constable with the resources he needs is one of my biggest responsibilities and it is within that context that I recommended to the panel an increase in council tax for a Band D property of £10.00 this year”.
Over the past ten years, the proportion of central funding for policing in Gloucestershire has fallen from nearly two thirds in 2010 to just over half. The Government now meets just 53% of the cost of policing in the County compared to 66% in 2010. The remaining 47% comes out of council tax, through a precept set each year by the PCC.
The Budget for 2022/23, which covers the period April-March, will provide the resources to deliver the Police and Crime Prevention Plan and, over the next three years, enable the Constabulary to release more officers back to public facing duties.
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said, “I support the Government’s commitment to increasing the number of police officers nationally by 20,000, and I would have welcomed the ability of the PCC to invest further beyond the £10 maximum that is allowed without a Referendum.
“I welcome the planning certainty offered by a three year overall settlement for policing whilst hoping that the national funding formula review adequately recognises the difficulties of small rural forces and the way crime has changed in character and volume in recent years.
“Online frauds and violence against women and girls are system wide issues which require a similar level of policing, particularly in relation to prevention, independent of population size.”