Have your say on how your police service is funded
Would you pay more council tax for policing in Norfolk? That is the question being posed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
PCC Lorne Green will soon have to decide whether to increase or freeze the policing element of council tax. First, he wants to know what the Norfolk public thinks and is asking how much people would be willing to pay.
“I want to hear from the people of Norfolk. Do you support keeping the policing part of the council tax at last year’s level, or do you support a rise? And, if so, how much would you be prepared to pay?” said Lorne.
“I have spent a great deal of time over the past year listening to Norfolk communities. They tell me not only do they want to be safe, they want to feel safe. Our constabulary has a responsibility to offer that assurance in our homes, on our streets and in our communities.
“At the same time I recognise the financial situation for policing continues to be extremely challenging. The nature of crime continues to change and is becoming more complex. Ahead of December’s police funding announcement, I made representations to the Home Secretary, Policing Minister and Secretary to the Treasury to impress upon them just how serious the financial picture here in Norfolk is and the threat it poses to our policing service.
“It is important to be clear however that, before I even consider raising the policing element of the council tax, I have to be absolutely sure that the force continues to drive efficiencies at every turn, including from collaboration and partnership working.
“The Chief Constable has told me that a precept freeze would, inevitably, lead to police officer and staff reductions. He has also said that were I to raise the council tax by the maximum amount of 46 pence a week, this would allow significant investment in the force, including the addition of 40 extra officers. I would urge people to listen to what the Chief Constable has to say before having their say.
“To help inform my budget decision, I would like to know your views. Some 56% of Norfolk’s policing budget is funded by central government, meaning your council tax makes up the rest – so I want all Norfolk residents to have the opportunity to have their say.
“There are lots of ways you can share your views, not least through the online survey. Please take the time to have your say as your views are important to me.”
The full consultation document and online survey can be found at www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk
The consultation will run from 2 January until 30 January. The PCC will take his budget proposals to the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel on 5 February 2018.