WARWICKSHIRE Police chief Ron Ball is calling on all county residents to spend a penny.
The Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner says an extra penny a day contribution from residents would go a long way to protecting the police presence on the county’s streets.
It follows Government plans to freeze policing budgets – which Mr Ball fears will hit frontline policing. Warwickshire Police will receive Government funding of £48.4million in 2016/17 – a reduction of £0.3million which does not take into account other factors such as inflation or increased demands on policing.
The Home Secretary has told PCC’s the only way police funding will remain at the same level in the coming years would be if the police precept – the portion of council tax which pays for policing – is raised.
As a result, Mr Ball is proposing the precept be raised by less than two per cent next year – equivalent to £3.75 per year for an average property.
Mr Ball said: “While it’s certainly true that the financial settlement offered by the Chancellor is fundamentally better than the one we were anticipating, there will still be pressures on police budgets.
“In Warwickshire we have a strong track record of delivering considerable savings while increasing public satisfaction in policing.
“The decisions we take now will have an impact in every subsequent year and I am determined that I will not leave my successor in a bind with a continually eroding police budget.
“With only a very small increase in the amount each tax payer contributes across the year, significant resources can be raised to maintain front line policing and ensure that the public continues to receive a high-class service.”
He is keen to hear the views of residents before making a final decision on next year’s precept.
Visit www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk for further details.