Police chiefs promise more officers on patrol in Warwickshire after council tax hike - The Leamington Observer

Police chiefs promise more officers on patrol in Warwickshire after council tax hike

Leamington Editorial 5th Feb, 2019 Updated: 5th Feb, 2019   0

COUNCIL taxpayers in Warwickshire will be forking out more on the promise of seeing more police officers patrolling the county.

The average band D household will pay an extra £2 per month to Warwickshire Police from April. The force accounts for around ten per cent of the total bill.

A public consultation by Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe backed proposals which will allow the chief constable to recruit an additional 100 extra staff – comprising 85 police officers, five police community support officers and ten civilian crime investigators.

More than 2,400 residents responded to the survey, with over 72 per cent giving their backing to a rise of £2 per month – with three quarters of these indicating they would have been willing to support an even greater raise if it had been offered.

Mr Seccombe said: “The feedback from the public was very clear – people want to see more visible policing in the communities where they live and they want to see an improved response from the police when they call them.

“No tax rise is ever going to be universally popular and I have listened carefully to the 1,600 individual comments received through the consultation. The majority of people in the county will in fact pay less than £2 extra a month and the clear indication from those who gave their feedback is that they are willing to pay a little extra if that means additional boots on the ground.

“The budget I am setting will allow for the recruitment of substantial numbers of officers over the next 12 to 18 months, bolstered by extra police community support officers and crime investigators who can provide additional support and expertise where needed to bring criminals to justice.

“This will take time to implement fully but I am confident we can build on the momentum of the current Warwickshire Police recruitment campaign, which is set to deliver by the early summer the additional 50 officers I funded in this year’s precept.

“Taken together, these increases will mean that over the next few years the numbers of police officer posts in Warwickshire will be heading back up to just under 1,000 and I am sure that is something that will be warmly welcomed by the public.”

Chief Constable Martin Jelley welcomed the news.

“This is extremely positive news for Warwickshire and will enable the additional growth of 100 officers and staff to protect people from harm across our county. This decision truly recognises the pressures and demands currently faced by policing and on behalf of our police force I would like to thank the public for their continued support.”

Warwickshire county Council – which accounts for 80 per cent of the council tax bill – is this week expected to agree to an inflation-busting hike of five per cent (three per cent in the council tax precept and two per cent in adult social care precept) in its share of the bill.

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