Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall Has Agreed The Policing Budget for 2019-2020
The budget has been set following public consultation, Chief Constable feedback and the unanimous support from the Police and Crime Panel. The precept for 2019-20 will increase by £24 per annum for a band D property and for the band B (the band which the largest number of properties fall into) an increase of £1.55 per month. This is the same increase as every Force Area in the country (less Wales where precept has not previously been capped).
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “It is a very reluctant decision to increase the policing part of the council tax precept and of course I would prefer not to have to raise the precept but I have to be realistic. Public safety is paramount and keeping you safe especially from the new emerging crimes is a key element of my role as Police and Crime Commissioner. The public continually tell me they want to have more police officers and I have to be honest in making it clear that if we want more we have to be prepared to pay more, it is dishonest to suggest otherwise.
A public consultation has also taken place with 70.15% of the 2161 respondents in support of increasing the policing element of the council tax.
“I said when I launched the public consultation that I believe that if you are to pay more, it is only fair to ensure that the police deliver an improved service in return. The additional revenue will allow us to build on the investment we have already made in our policing services by adding 25 officers last year and allow a further 20 officers to be recruited in 2019/20. We are already feeling the effect of this additional resource right across the county.
“This will be a real boost to front line policing addressing your local concerns such as anti-social behaviour and at the same time meeting the emerging rising demand such as online-crime.
“I remain determined to ensure that Cumbria continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit and this budget allows us to resource and support our police.”
Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said:
“I am pleased that the police budget has now been set for the next financial year. Whilst I share the Commissioners reluctance to raise the precept, I am grateful that he has listened and recognised the operational requirement to deliver effective policing. I welcome this much needed increase to protect operational policing for Cumbria. This provides some stability in the county and helps us protect and enhance frontline policing in order to keep people safe.
“We will continue to seek ways in which we can increase our efficiency in order to protect the people of Cumbria and provide them with the best possible policing service.”