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Panel supports Commissioner's budget proposals

KH - Grimsby portrait
On Wednesday 7th February Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter presented his proposals to raise the portion of council tax used to pay for policing, known as the police precept, to the Humberside Police and Crime Panel. The panel voted unanimously in favour of an increase of 6.4% and asked for an update from the Commissioner after 6 months to measure progress. 

The Commissioner proposed the precept increase for 2018/19, meaning the amount paid on a typical Band D property would rise by around 23p per week from £187.33 to £199.32 for the year.

Commenting on the decision Keith Hunter said:

“I am pleased the panel have supported the proposal but fully understand the reluctance of some panel members to increase the taxes of local people, I feel the same way myself, but the reality is we have been put in this position by the Government and every community I speak to says they want more police officers. Therefore, this was the only way it could be delivered, so I’m not happy at increasing taxes but I’m content that I will be doing what communities want me to do.”

The Humberside Police and Crime Panel is composed of a group of cross-party Councillors from Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire, plus independent members.

Background to the precept

In December the Home Office announced police forces would receive exactly the same amount of funding from central Government for the coming year as they have received in 2017/18, but Police and Crime Commissioners would have the flexibility to increase funding from local taxpayers through the police precept portion of Council Tax by up to £12 per annum (based on a Band D property), a 6.4% increase compared with the 2% limit applied in previous years. In the Humberside Police area this will generate an extra £2.2m above what we had planned. The Government is assuming that all PCCs will increase their precepts by the maximum allowed this year and signalled their intention to allow the same increase next year.

At the time, Keith Hunter said: “When I came into office as Police and Crime Commissioner, the results of Government budget cuts to policing had seen Humberside Police lose around a quarter of its police officers since 2010. The effects of such a drastic change have been clear for all to see and police forces nationwide are struggling to cope with increased demand and the complex challenges of modern policing.

“Every community I have spoken to has said they want to see more police officers on the streets, they need to feel safe and reassured. It is disappointing therefore that the Government has not responded with improved funding but has moved the burden onto local taxpayers. What that means is I have been given more flexibility to increase funding through the police precept portion of the council tax to deliver what communities are asking me for.

“I have the flexibility to raise the policing precept by 6.4% which equates to £12 per year extra, or 23p per week for a Band D property, however over 80% of properties in the Humberside Police area are in bands A, B and C, therefore the impact on the majority will be less (see the table below).

“Since my election I have worked hard to make the best use of resources available which has enabled the Chief Constable to boost officer numbers, resulting in the biggest recruitment of new police officers in the force’s history. Taking account of inflationary pressures and the desire to continue the existing recruitment drive for a longer period than the current finances allow, I would like to use this perhaps short-lived opportunity to secure extra funding for more police officers that are obviously so desired and needed by our residents.

“The current recruitment plans will take us up to around 1,860 police officers next year, the additional money this proposed rise would provide will give Humberside Police flexibility, depending upon inflationary pressures to increase to somewhere between 1,900 and 1,920 officers. I was elected on a pledge to the public to provide more officers on the streets, which I am currently doing through a better use of resources, but this increased funding will enable me to continue this improvement in capability and capacity into the future.”

Residents can check which council tax band their property is in at: www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

 

2017/18 Police Precept

Property Band

Increase p.a. for 2018/19

p per week increase

% of properties in this band

 

 

 

 

 

£124.89

A

£8.00

15p

46.1

£145.70

B

£9.33

18p

21.6

£166.52

C

£10.67

21p

14.3

£187.33

D

£12.00

23p

9.5

£228.96

E

£14.67

28p

5.2

£270.59

F

£17.33

33p

2.2

£312.22

G

£20.00

38p

1.0

£374.66

H

£24.00

46p

0.1

   

 

Posted on Wednesday 7th February 2018
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