Police chief wants South Tynesiders’ views on costs of fighting crime

Dame Vera Baird
Dame Vera Baird

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner is asking for people views on the amount of council tax they are prepared to pay for crime fighting – the police precept.

The Government recently announced that Northumbria Police will receive central grant funding of £222.7m in 2018/19 - which reflects central funding being maintained at the same level as 2017/18 - but only if the police precept part of the council tax is increased by £12 for Band D properties.

The Government has determined that total funding for Northumbria - central grant plus precept - of £265.3m can be achieved only if the police precept part of the local council tax is raised.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissiona Dame Vera Baird says, if the precept is not raised by that amount, there will be a real terms cut to Northumbria Police funding of up to £5.1m.

This is in addition to central government funding for Northumbria being reduced by 37% in real terms since 2010.

In Northumbria people living in a band D property currently pay £98.33 per year in council tax for their police service.

A £12.00 per year increase on that figure, as calculated by the Government, would mean an extra 23p a week.

Most residents in Northumbria have a band A property and for those the increase would be 15p a week (£8.00 for the full year).

Northumbria currently has the lowest police precept of all the 43 police forces in England and Wales, by a very long way due to historical factors.

Mrs Baird said “Once again the Government is moving the burden of proper police funding on to council tax payers through the police precept.

“The government are telling me if I don’t increase the precept by the figure they have used in their funding formula, Northumbria will have less money in real terms to spend on priorities such as neighbourhood policing.

“Repeated Government cuts have hit us hard since 2010, however, the government are telling me that we must raise the precept or lose out.” She added: “The increase would amount to 15p per week increase for a Band A property, or 23p a week increase for a Band D property.

“I am therefore asking local residents if they would be content with this increase in Northumbria”.

People can email their views to enquiries@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk

All responses should be received by 12th January 2018.