Lincolnshire police commissioner calls for 4.1 per cent increase in force's share of council tax
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones is proposing a 4.1 per cent increase in the force’s share of council tax for the next financial year.
The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel will examine the plan, which equates to £9.99 for a band D property, at East Lindsey District Council on Friday.
The maximum PCCs can increase council tax by this year is £10.
Although the budget setting process is still to be completed, if supported, the chief constable will have £95.5 million to spend – an increase of £3.5 million on the £92 million made available last year.
Mr Jones’ budget currently plans a total spend of £128 million, however the commissioner is already confident further funding bids will be successful throughout the year.
A final budget will be agreed in the next few weeks – after the precept is voted on.
The force is this year set to get a police grant increase of £4.4 million (7.5 per cent), along with a pension top-up grant of £1.2 million, from the Government.
It will receive increased funding towards 50 police officers it would not otherwise have as part of this.
The report before the panel says Lincolnshire Police is set to have 1,070 officers – 30 below the 1,100 it is aiming to have by 2023/24.
However, Mr Jones said that when the budget is finalised he will be “confident” there would be enough spent to maintain numbers through 2020.
Capital grant funding to police and crime commissioners has been reduced from £300,000 to £100,000 for Lincolnshire.
The budget so far proposes a spend on officers’ and PCSO salaries of £63.8 million.
It will also include £23.3 million for the G4S contract and £4 million for joint services run in partnership with other regional forces.
In a report to the panel, Mr Jones says he plans to revert to a two per cent increase from 2021/22 onwards.
He said planned spends will fund a series of commitments including new cars, the latest offender detection technology, expansions of specialist units and investment in 101 and online reporting tools.
A recent consultation, which concluded in January, received 3,302 responses.
According to the reports,80 per cent of people supporting a rise of “at least” five per cent.
However, two-thirds of people also supported increases of 15 to 20 per cent – more than three times the proposed amount.
Mr Jones said: “I am hugely grateful for the support I have received from the public who have made it clear they are prepared to support investment in policing.
“We remain one of the safest counties in the UK and yet have the lowest spend per head on policing in the UK and I will continue with my drive to work with the Chief Constable to create a modern, efficient and effective force.
“This extra money will allow investment in projects that will seek to deter criminals from coming to our county or committing crimes within our borders as well as support reduction of crime and harm within our county.
“For those we cannot deter I will provide more resources dedicated to seeking out, arresting and gathering evidence to prosecute those offenders.”
Last year Mr Jones hiked council tax by 11 per cent – equivalent at the time to £23.94 for a Band D property.
More by this authorDaniel Jaines, Local Democracy Reporter