Hertfordshire's PCC wants council tax rise to fund more police officers
PUBLISHED: 10:38 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:59 29 December 2017
Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing a monthly £1 increase in council tax to fund more officers and investigation teams.
New powers granted to PCCs this week allow them to raise the police section of council tax, following which PCC David Lloyd has said he could garner an additional £5.3million for Hertfordshire in 2018/19.
He claimed the funds would be spent on protecting neighbourhood policing teams, as well as investing in additional officers to help tackle burglary, antisocial behaviour and drug-related crime.
PCC Lloyd said: “This settlement is welcome and helps to secure funding for Hertfordshire in a year which has seen a significant rise in demand on our officers.
“I’ve always maintained I will not make the public pay a penny more for policing than they have to, and despite this increase Hertfordshire residents will still pay one of the lowest contributions for policing in the country.”
He added that additional funding will also be pumped into crime investigation teams, as well as the Force Control Room where 999 and 101 calls have soared since the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
Residents can submit their feedback until January 31, 2018.
“This is your chance to have a say on the amount you pay for policing in Hertfordshire,” PCC Lloyd added. “This will help to increase officer numbers and provide more resources into the areas of policing which really make a difference.”
The proposed increase represents a 7.9 per cent rise in Hertfordshire’s council tax precept, which equates to a monthly £1 increase on current levels for the average household.
The police precept accounts for just under 40 per cent of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s budget. Around 60 per cent comes from a central government grant, which has been frozen for the next year, and the rest is from constabulary reserves.
Welwyn Hatfield’s Labour leader, borough councillor Kieran Thorpe said: “This is simply council taxpayers picking up the bill for Theresa May’s disgraceful underfunding of our emergency services.
“The results of that are clear, services are beyond breaking point.
“Instead of shifting the debt onto residents, the Police and Crime Commissioner and his bloated support costs should be abolished immediately.
“This would save considerable resources which could be put to use in replacing the hundreds of front line police officers that have been cut since 2013.”
Feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent via letter to: The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ.