The police commissioner is proposing to raise the police element of the council tax by 7%. I have some sympathy with his view that if the government cuts funding then requires pay rises for police he has to find the funding from somewhere.
7% is a high percentage and when added to other rises in cost of living it clearly will have an impact on many people.
For that impact to be acceptable we need to see an increase in visible police presence across the County.
Unfortunately I have a feeling that we will not see this.
Press release from the police commissioner Ron Hogg:
In response to pressure from Government, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg has decided to increase the amount of Council Tax which goes to the police service, known as the precept, by 7.09%. This equates to an increase of £8 a year, or 15p a week for a property in Council Tax Band A. Members of the public are being asked to comment.
Ron Hogg said: “The Government has reduced the funding for policing in Durham and Darlington every year since 2010. We now have around 360 fewer officers than in 2010 – a reduction of 1 in 4.”
“I have been lobbying the Government for some years, to fund policing fairly. I did not expect the Government to respond by placing an additional burden on Council Tax payers. However, in my view they are abdicating their responsibility to protect our communities. This has put me in a position where, if I do not introduce this increase, I will be reducing the income of Durham Constabulary this year, and for every year afterwards. It will inevitably mean fewer Police Officers in the community, preventing and solving crime. I cannot do that without risking the safety of the community. The Government’s decision to relax the cap on the precept equates to an extra 15p per week for a property in Council Tax Band A.”
“Durham Constabulary is already the most efficient force in the country according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. That’s a consequence of the force’s commitment to innovation, making the very best use of the money available. We continue to challenge every facet of our business in order to find further efficiencies, but this gets harder every year. I welcomed the Government’s recent announcement of pay rises for Police Officers, but they have not provided me with the funding for this.”
Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Chair of the Police and Crime Panel said:
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“Panel Members understand current financial pressures placed on policing budgets and support the Commissioner’s approach to seek comment from residents on this proposal”
Notes for editors:
For more information or to arrange an interview with the PCVC please contact email@example.com or 07814174417
The public are able to comment on this proposal until Wednesday 31st January 2018. Residents are can provide their views in a number of ways, including:
- Through my website www.durham-pcc.gov.uk
- Through Facebook or Twitter (search for Durham PCC)
- On telephone on: 0191 375 2001
- At the AAP Boards during January 2018
o 10th January 2018 – 4together AAP Board
o 16th January 2018 – East Durham Rural Corridor AAP Board o 18th January 2018 – Spennymoor AAP Board
o 22nd January 2018 – Chester Le Street AAP Board
o 24th January 2018 – Teesdale AAP Board
o 24th January 2018 – Derwent Valley AAP Board
o 24thJanuary2018–BishopAucklandandShildonAAPBoard o 30th January 2018 – GAMP AAP Board
- At drop in sessions on 19th January at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington 11am-1pm
- Additional drop in sessions are planned for Monday 22nd and 29th January 2018 full details can
be found at www.durham-pcc.gov.uk