Acting police commissioner urges members of the public to have their say on police funding
- Credit: Archant
Acting Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Ray Bisby is asking members of the public to let him have their views about supporting police funding in a short survey launched yesterday (January 8).
The amount of money being given to police forces from central government and the rules over how much the policing part of council tax (precept) can be raised have been delayed due to the December General Election.
As Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Bisby wishes to obtain the views of the public about the precept that he sets every year. Through this, he ensures that the Chief Constable has the resources he needs in order to keep people safe.
Mr Bisby said: "The past year has brought many challenges however I am sure you will agree that we have a fantastic police force in Cambridgeshire working hard to tackle the issues we all care about. As we plan our budget for policing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for 2020/21, I am keen to understand your views on funding our police service.
"Last year you told us you wanted to see more officers out in your communities. Thanks to your support for an increase in the policing part of your council tax, we have seen police officer numbers reach record levels in Cambridgeshire. An additional 50 officers were recruited with the aim of increasing visible neighbourhood policing as well as supporting a partnership approach to crime prevention.
"Cambridgeshire is a safe county but police have to spend more time tackling the growing complexity of crimes such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, modern day slavery and drug dealing known as 'county lines'.
"The government previously announced funding for 20,000 new officers across the country which will include their kit and equipment. Over the next year Cambridgeshire will welcome 62 of these officers. Although the cost for these extra officers is being met by the government, the existing 1,500 officers in Cambridgeshire and the infrastructure that supports them still needs maintaining and developing, which will bring cost pressures, not least from inflation alone."
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In Cambridgeshire, police funding comes from two main sources: a central government grant (just over half) and the remainder from the policing part of council tax.
Mr Bisby said: "Whilst the nationally funded additional officers are very welcome, there are some challenging realities that we face. Our police force remains one of the lowest funded forces in the country and with the county's population set to grow by 20% by 2031, we need to make sure our police service meets the needs of our growing communities.
"In due course, the government will announce the amount by which the policing part of council tax can be raised and I would seek to follow that guidance. As an indication, a 2% increase on a Band D property would equate to 37p per month."
"In order to support the Chief Constable to deliver a policing service which is as resilient as it can be, I would be grateful if you could spare a moment or two to complete my short survey."
To find out more visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WSNKQL7
The survey runs until January 27. Views can also be given by telephone: 0300 333 3456 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.