HOUSEHOLDERS in Warwickshire have given their backing to a call to spend an extra penny a day on policing the county.
Ron Ball, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said the extra council tax contribution from residents would go a long way to protecting the police presence on the county’s streets.
And from just over 1,000 who responded to his call – four out of five agreed with his proposal for a 1.99 per cent increase in the 2016/17 police precept – which accounts for around ten per cent of the total council tax bill received by households – which equates to around 31p a month for an average Band D property.
Mr Ball said: “I have always been keen to take account of public feedback on issues such as this – I don’t make proposals for tax increases – even relatively modest ones – lightly, so it is good to hear that there is public support for what I am seeking to achieve.
“With the confirmation from the Home Office that the overall police budget would decrease by 1.3 per cent in real terms over the next four years unless PCCs increase their precepts by the maximum amount permitted – rises are capped at two per cent by the Government – this is in my view a sensible course of action.
“While the effect in the taxpayer’s individual pockets is modest – a Band D taxpayer, for example, would see a rise of around a penny a day – the impact for Warwickshire Police’s budget is much more significant. If the current police precept rate was frozen, Warwickshire Police would lose around £700,000 next year and in each subsequent year, resulting in a financial gap of around £2.8 million by 2020.
“I inherited a sound financial platform from the former Police Authority when I became commissioner, which prepared the force well for the funding cuts that were then ahead. With increased investment being needed in a number of areas such as child protection, counter-terrorism, firearms policing and cybercrime, there will still be pressure on force budgets and continued innovative thinking will be needed.
“I am determined, therefore, to leave my successor – whoever that might be – with a similarly strong platform to build on for the future.”
The county’s Police and Crime Panel will consider Mr Ball’s proposal on February 3.