Survey asking local people if they would pay more for policing

If council tax does not increase there would be a “reduction of services”

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Shelford has launched a survey asking local people if they would pay an increase in the policing part of the council tax.  

Local policing is funded by a combination of Home Office and other grants as well as council tax contributions, which is known as “the precept”.  

The Government has told PCCs – who are responsible for setting the amount of money local people contribute to policing through council tax – they can raise the precept next year by £10 for an average band D household. 

PCC Mark Shelford says a £10 increase, approximately 83p per month, would mean any savings that still need to be made would be less likely to “impact frontline services”. 

But he says if the policing part of the council tax is not increased, the force would have to “make significant savings, resulting in a reduction of services.”  

In 2022/23, the Home Office grant funding is increasing to fund additional officers as part of Operation Uplift – but the PCC says this is not enough to manage inflationary pressures like pay rises for police officers.  

PCC Mark Shelford said: “As PCC, I have to balance the challenges facing policing with local people’s views in order to best resource an efficient and effective police service that can keep people safe.  

“However, I know that any increase in household bills is felt by local people, especially with the impact of the pandemic still being felt. This is why I want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to tell me their thoughts and opinions before I make any decision regarding increasing the precept.  

“I am the voice of local people in policing and when decisions such as an increase in the council tax need to be made, it is incredibly important that I listen to residents’ views. So, whatever your thoughts about a potential increase, please complete this survey to make sure your voice is heard.” 

The survey will run for seven weeks from 3 December to 21 January. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is also distributing 15,000 postal surveys to local residents across Avon and Somerset. 

 To complete the survey, visit: https://bit.ly/3DvPdnW