Police commissioner defends 11 per cent rise in precept for council tax
An 11 per cent rise in the police precept of the council tax to support policing in Lincolnshire will provide investment for frontline officers and a series of projects designed to keep county communities safe.
That is the response of the Police and Crime Commissioner who has, along with the Chief Constable, identified a number of schemes that will get the go-ahead in the coming months, now funding has been agreed at the Police and Crime Panel meeting.
PCC Marc Jones said the rise in police precept of 11 per cent - which represents a rise of less than 50p a week for a Band D property - would enable the Chief to maximise officer numbers and provide funding of a number of initiatives designed to tackle concerns raised in the recent public consultation.
A total of 3,449 people completed the extensive survey – with 83 per cent of respondents supporting a funding increase and 68 per cent of those supporting a rise in excess of the one council tax payers will be asked to pay in 2019/20.
The projects include:
- Mini police – extending the current mini-police scheme to over 2,000 children, available to every primary school in the county will leverage in additional national funding and keep local children safer. The project aims to create responsible citizens of our young people reducing future anti-social behaviour, teaching them about the dangers of strangers, road safety, cyber risks, the importance of reporting crime, lifesaving skills and much more.
- Drones – the funding will enable the drone unit to expand to become a drone squadron with coverage extended to the whole county 24/7. The existing drones have already proved invaluable in saving life, locating vulnerable missing people, combatting a range of crimes in hard to access locations and even gathering pivotal evidence to prosecuting offenders. The technology frees up valuable officer time which is then available to respond to other urgent calls.
- Command and control - the new command and control system, the most up-to-date in the UK would have been shelved without public support for council tax funding. It is vital to deliver improved access to report incidents, deliver better feedback to the public and deploy the most appropriately trained and equipped officers to scenes as quickly as possible.
- Improved neighbourhood policing model – the new model will require mobile technology to support local officers and PCSOs in being where they and the public want them to be, in the community for longer. Improved systems will enable better focus on protecting the vulnerable, monitoring potential risks, gathering intelligence and tackling crime.
- New pursuit vehicles – money will be invested in new police pursuit vehicles for the roads/firearms units who daily get tasked with some of the most challenging incidents in policing. It’s vital that the vehicles can carry the heavy loads required of them and still out perform organised criminals intent on causing harm in our communities.
All the projects have been prioritised as a result of the views given by the public in the latest crime survey undertaken by the PCC’s office.
Mr Jones said: “I have listened to Lincolnshire residents and they were clear and overwhelming in their support for providing more funding for Lincolnshire Police. As long as I am Police and Crime Commissioner I will never take that support for granted and I am always aware that every penny spent has come from hard pressed taxpayers.
“Through the very comprehensive survey I undertook I have a clear steer from residents what they see as important and the Chief and I will reflect that in our plans.”
Members of the Police and Crime Panel agreed, unanimously, to back the PCC’s proposal and agreed to the rise at their meeting on Friday.