Budget proposals approved by Police and Crime Panel
On Wednesday 8th February the Humberside Police and Crime Panel unanimously approved Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison's budget proposals for the coming financial year 2023/24 which include a below inflation 5.9% increase in the council tax police precept.
The Commissioner highlighted the successes achieved by Humberside Police in recent years and the proposals agreed with the Chief Constable to improve the service further in the next 12 months. In addition to funding from central Government and local tax payers, a further £6.2m from financial reserves will need to be invested during the next year to proceed with current plans and cover increased costs in the present financial climate.
Jonathan Evison said "Every year, the money raised through the Council Tax precept is vital to supplement the national policing grant from Government to deliver the most effective service possible to our residents.
In recent years Humberside Police have made great progress in improving the service it provides to our communities, resulting in last November’s announcement from His Majesty’s independent Inspectorate that the force had been graded Outstanding in most areas of its operations. A significant part of this improvement has been down to sound financial planning and managing the budget available to us. The number of police officers has risen to around 600 more than the low point in 2016 and there are now over 2,200 officers in the force, the highest number for over a decade and communities have told me they are seeing ongoing improvements in the service. Added to the increased numbers of police officers is one of the best performing call centres in the country, new teams to tackle issues such as rural crime and police officers returning to neighbourhood bases in police stations which had previously been understaffed.
Of course, things are never perfect and there is a strong desire to improve the service even further for the public we serve, we all want to see a more visible police presence, more action to prevent and reduce crime and protect the most vulnerable people in our society, from children to the elderly."
Illustrating how the budget plans would further improve the service, the Commissioner said that he had asked Chief Constable Lee Freeman for his plans based on a 5.9% precept increase and he has committed to the following:
- Humberside Police will continue its programme of placing 24-hour response teams in every town in the force area – including the return of 24-hour policing teams in Driffield and Brigg.
- This growth will be in addition to preserving existing bases and protecting officer numbers in Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Epworth, Beverley, Bridlington, Withernsea, Pocklington, Goole and Hedon (which are at their highest in ten years)
- Humberside Police would be able to afford to keep 148 dedicated PCSO’s embedded in every ward in East Riding, Hull, North and North East Lincolnshire
- Humberside Police would be able to increase the number of dedicated community police officers working alongside PCSO colleagues
The force also recognises that rural communities want an increase in dedicated rural policing, and the continued support and development of dedicated Rural Task Force teams in the East Riding and in North and North East Lincolnshire would be achievable.
- The dedicated Rural Task Force would be enhanced to 1 Sergeant and 8 Constables, based in the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire
Humberside Police are also asked by local communities to invest more resources in tackling dangerous driving, illegal and uninsured drivers and driving that is leading to death and serious injury across the whole region.
- Humberside Police will increase the number of police officers in its Roads Policing Unit to increase patrols, visibility and capability to proactively target offenders who continue to reduce safety on the roads for other users
Humberside Police have a key role to play in ensuring that victims of domestic abuse are protected and offenders are brought to justice. The impact such behaviour has on victims and children is generational and nothing other than providing an outstanding response every time should be accepted.
- Ensure that the new dedicated Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Teams can be fully resourced in 2023 whilst not reducing officer numbers elsewhere
- Invest the additional officers as planned into local CID teams, to further improve the force's ability to investigate more crimes and provide a service that increases public trust and confidence in their local force
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Posted on Wednesday 8th February 2023