Still time to have say on increasing police share of council tax

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner,is frustrated at the failure of the Maple Park b

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

Suffolk taxpayers have until Thursday morning to have their say on the police and crime commissioner's latest proposed hike in annual household bills.

Tim Passmore will go to the county's Police and Crime Panel on Friday to request approval for an increase to the constabulary's share of council tax in the forthcoming financial year.

Members of the public have been asked for their opinions on the proposed increase, which equates to an extra £14.94 on annual bills for Band D properties, before 9am on Thursday.

About two thirds of total funding currently comes directly from government grants, with the rest generated from the council tax precept. 

Policing minister Kit Malthouse gave police and crime commissioners (PCCs) the ability to increase their share of the precept by up to £15  for a Band D property in the next financial year.

Mr Passmore said the £3.8m extra funding would help take the total of additional police officers recruited to the force in the next financial year to about 70 - including those allocated in the second phase of the Operation Uplift drive to hire 20,000 more officers nationally (170 in Suffolk) by March 2023.

If the panel supports the proposed increase, Suffolk Constabulary would be able to recruit 27 civilians to provide specialist support for officers in the form of digital and intelligence expertise.

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Mr Passmore said the funding would also go towards improving communications in the contact and control room (CCR) at police headquarters. 

It would follow successive annual precept rises of about £12, £24 and £10 per year for a Band D property.

Mr Passmore said: "I believe my proposals for the precept address some of the major concerns the public raise with me, such as making it easier for the public to contact Suffolk police and fraud prevention.

"It also ensures the constabulary is equipped to meet the challenges it faces.

“I have worked closely with the chief constable to agree how the potential funding will be allocated. It is a difficult balance but one that I believe meets the needs of the council taxpayer.

"I hope people will take the opportunity to respond to the survey and let me know their thoughts.”

A survey to gauge the public response to the proposal can be found at suffolk-pcc.gov.uk until 9am on Thursday.

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