19th Jan, 2018

Residents to pay more council tax to keep police on Warwickshire's streets

PAY more council tax and keep more Warwickshire police officers on the streets.

That is the message to residents from Warwickshire Police Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe who is asking residents in the county for their views.

Police and crime commissioners up and down the country are getting no increase in annual funding from the government but commissioners are being allowed to raise their percentage of the council tax precept.

Existing budgets and savings plans would lead to a reduction of around 70 officers from the 800 frontline officers in Warwickshire.

But a hike of £12 per year on a Band D bill could mean the force keeping 33 of the under threat officers, while £10 per would equate to around 25, and £8 to around 18.

Mr Seccombe remains hopeful even more officers could be kept with a continued focus on making savings.

He said: “ The simple reality is that the police require more funding just to maintain current service levels.

“I am not in a position to be able to freeze the police precept once again. To do so would leave the force with a significant shortfall in funding and some very unpalatable decisions to make over a reduced level of service to the public.

“I am therefore proposing to increase the police precept for 2018/19, in order to protect frontline policing and ensure that I can deliver a safer and more secure Warwickshire.

“But I know these remain difficult financial times for many people and that’s why I have put forward a number of options, with varying levels of increase.”

Mr Seccombe added the consultation was to gauge public opinion on the three options, but the final decision remained with him.

Visit www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/preceptsurvey to comment. The consultation will close on Friday January 19.

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