Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), will present his budget plans to the Police and Crime Panel next week, which include an additional 107 local police officers.
The proposed budget, published in a report yesterday (25th January), shows that of the 107 new officers:
- 60 will be patrol officers based in the eight neighbourhood police areas
- 24 new detectives will be based in the neighbourhood police areas
- 8 new beat officers will be placed in the proactive teams dealing with current and emerging issues in each of the neighbourhood areas
- 8 new officers will tackle emerging crime on a proactive basis
- 7 new officers will focus on the crime that impacts upon the most vulnerable in our communities
Willy Bach said he was delighted to see such a significant growth in local officers, something he has consistently pledged to deliver. However, he added that it was disappointing that this needed to be funded by a 12% increase in the amount local people pay towards policing boosted by a further £5.1M from reserves over the next four years.
In December 2018 the Government made it clear that it expected Police and Crime Commissioners to increase the amount of council tax paid towards policing by £24 for a Band D household in 2019-20.
A survey, carried out by the PCC, found that over 70% of respondents were willing to pay the increased amount. Thanking the public for its support, Willy Bach said he was determined to see additional funding from this increase invested in the things that matter most to local people.
“People want to see more police in communities and this budget will enable us to recruit 107 extra officers,” he said. “I’m delighted that we are at last in a position to see real growth in officer numbers, but I should be clear that this is only happening due to an increase in the police portion of the council tax and a hefty chunk from our Reserves.
“It is hugely disappointing that the Government expects local people to pay more towards policing but if I am to increase officer numbers I have no option but to raise the police precept.
“Local people are now paying the price for years of austerity, but PCCs have been left with no alternative. Even this will not solve all the financial challenges. Of every additional £24 raised, £14 will be used to pay for rising costs and overheads, leaving just £10 to invest in new resources. To protect our plans in the future I have agreed to use money from our reserves over the next four years.
Other highlights in the report include:
- Proposals to reduce abstractions of frontline police officers and increase the amount of time they spend on the beat
- PCSOs numbers will be kept at 181
- Investment in technology to tackle crime
- Ongoing investment to support Volunteers in Policing
- Measures to speed up recruitment to the new posts
- Improving the quality of crime recording
The full report is available for download at https://www.leics.pcc.police.uk/Planning-and-Money/Finance/Budget-Information/Budget-2019-2020.aspx
Financial facts and figures
The Commissioner will present his budget plans for scrutiny to the Police and Crime Panel on 1 February alongside his proposals for the policing precept, which will be put forward for the Panel’s approval.
He will explain that he intends to set the budget for policing Leicestershire in 2019/2020 at £187.1M, an increase of £10.88M (6.2%) over the previous year.
Of this £114.6M will come from the Government and £72.5M from the local policing precept.
The amount of council tax paid towards policing by a Band D household will, if the Panel approves the Government’s anticipated increase in precept, rise from £199.23 pa to £223.23pa. The amount people will pay in other bands can be seen in the table below.
|Precept by Band||£|
Source: Office of the PCC