Warwickshire Police Commissioner pledges more officers in exchange for council tax increase - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire Police Commissioner pledges more officers in exchange for council tax increase

Leamington Editorial 17th Jan, 2024   0

MORE officers and a boost to crime prevention are being pledged by the boss of Warwickshire Police, to be funded by a proposed a 4.7 per cent raise in the force’s share of council tax.

The rise will see the average Band D householder in the county pay an extra 25p a week towards policing – but Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe says residents will see improvements.

Mr Seccombe’s draft proposals for funding Warwickshire Police in 2024-25 – which are now open to public consultation – include funding to recruit ten more police officers, taking total officer numbers to 1,125.

This will include new town centre beat officers to tackle retail crime and anti-social behaviour.

A further £1million of ‘hot spot’ funding is also due to be allocated from the Home Office next year to tackle anti-social behaviour across the county.

The Commissioner’s proposed budget also boosts crime prevention activity, with teams focused on prolific offenders and those parts of the county which suffer the highest levels of crime.

He also says calls from the public – particularly non-emergency 101 calls – will be answered more quickly through investment in live chat and callback services.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s office will also spend more than £2.8million on specialist support services for victims of crime – including survivors of rape, sexual violence, domestic abuse and child exploitation – alongside drug and alcohol rehabilitation services designed to move people away from crime.

Mr Seccombe said: “It’s clear that an overwhelming majority of the public favours increased funding for police services in Warwickshire, provided that delivers improved services which they can clearly see and feel the benefit of.

“The budget I’m proposing delivers the funding the chief constable needs to be able to continue the programme of improvement for Warwickshire Police, enabling better outcomes for victims and more offenders to be brought to justice.

“While we have received some increases in funding from Central Government, this alone will not cover the rising costs of policing and enable the other service improvements that we want to deliver.

“That’s why I am proposing to increase the police element of council tax next year by 4.7 per cent in order to give the chief constable the funding needed to sustain and improve services to the public, as well as ensuring officers and staff are paid properly for what they do, with the right equipment, buildings and facilities to be as effective as possible.

“This equates to 25p per week extra for an average Band D household and, while I know there are pressures on all of our budgets, I do think this will be affordable for the majority, particularly as most households in the county will pay less as they are on lower council tax bands.”

Visit www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/yourviews for more information, and to take part in the public consultation which closes at 4pm on Wednesday January 24.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Leamington Observer.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Leamington Observer newspaper.