Local Police Funding – views wanted by 22nd January

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner is asking for the views of local residents on the amount of money local households are asked to pay for local policing.

The Government recently announced that Northumbria Police would receive £217.5m BUT the only basis on which the police budget will not be cut, even beyond the cuts imposed over the last three years, is if the police precept part of the local council tax is raised by £5 per year for a Band D property. George Osborne has set the budget expecting the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria to raise the precept by £5.00 for a band D property to raise £2.05m.

Therefore if the police precept is set any less than this it will impact on the cash available for local policing in Northumbria.  In previous years the Government has made grants available to those Police & Crime Commissioners who did not increase their precept – this has been scrapped.

Here in Northumbria a band D property currently pays £1.70 per week in council tax for their police service. A £5.00 increase, as suggested by the government, over the year would mean a band D property owner would pay an extra 10p a week. However,  most residents living in Northumbria have a band A property and currently pay £1.13 per week, so for those living in a band A  property the increase would be an extra 7p a week (£3.64 for the full year).

Northumbria currently has the lowest police precept of all the 43 police forces in England and Wales, the average for a band D property nationwide is £3.36 per week compared to Northumbria’s £1.70 a week.

Vera Baird said “The Chief Constable and I are doing our very best to preserve the high standards of policing that we are used to here and we have looked at all options to save money to protect neighbourhood policing. If the police precept is not increased by £5 per year for a band D property, it will have an impact on the cash available for policing in Northumbria. The Chancellor did not consult on whether our, or anyone else’s, police precept should be increased but has budgeted on the basis that it will be. He is, in effect, saying that we must raise the precept or lose out. I am therefore asking if people would be content to pay a maximum increase of 10p a week on a Band D property to protect our local policing. I want to hear what local residents think is best for Northumbria.”

Local residents can email their views to enquiries@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk  To ensure their views are part of the consultation, residents must include their home address.  All responses should be received by 22nd January 2016.