A TAX rise costing average households £13 a year has been proposed by Warwickshire Police to help plug a £2.9million gap in its budget and recruit 10 new officers.
The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has set out the details of his budget to deliver policing, crime prevention and victim services in the financial year ahead.
It includes a 4.7 per cent increase in the Police Precept of Council Tax – equivalent to £13 a year extra for an average Band D household.
The Office of the Commissioner says the increase – which is in line with Government expectations – would fill a £2.9million budget shortfall which would otherwise have resulted in cuts to services.
The budget has been developed using feedback from the Commissioner’s ‘Your Police, Your Views’ surveys and input from Warwickshire Police and other key stakeholders.
The Commissioner says it will deliver improved engagement and visibility, increased proactive policing and prevention activity, improved victim care and a victim-centred focus, more suspects brought to justice, an extra focus on anti-social behaviour, and improved health and wellbeing for officers and staff.
An extra 10 police officers will be recruited in 2024-25, bringing Warwickshire Police’s numbers up to a record 1,125.
The budget will allocate £1million of ring-fenced funding to address hot spot areas across the county, and strengthen the capacity of specialist investigation teams who target areas such as child abuse, trafficking and exploitation.
Further improvements in the response to calls for service will also be made, with particular focus on 101 non-emergency calls through investment in new facilities such as live chat and call back.
Also promised are enhanced services for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse to help them cope and recover, and a domestic abuse perpetrator programme to prevent harm and reduce reoffending.
New contracts will provide substance misuse support services to break the cycle of reoffending, and grant funding will continue for projects focused on prevention of crime and diversionary activity, alongside road safety initiatives.
Funding worth £175,000 will support the work undertaken by Community Safety Partnerships across the county to address local issues of concern.
Mr Seccombe said: “It’s evident that the majority of the public stands behind increased funding for policing and community safety, provided they witness tangible improvements in the services delivered.
“My budget earmarks the necessary funds for the Chief Constable to sustain and improve services to the public.
“Moreover, the budget amplifies our joint commitment to better outcomes for victims and a more robust pursuit of justice against offenders.
“The Chief Constable has committed to driving improvements in key areas crucial to local residents and businesses. In tandem, I pledge to hold the Chief Constable accountable for delivering on these commitments and demonstrating value for money, with improved outcomes for all.”
Visit http://tinyurl.com/yc43kmf6 to read the budget report.