Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall is asking the people of Cumbria if they are willing to pay more to help maintain local policing services, retain the additional 25 police officers he secured this year, and recruit an extra 20 police officers in 2019.
Today, the Commissioner launches a public consultation seeking your views on increasing council tax for a band D property by £2 per month. In Cumbria, the largest number of properties fall into band B which would mean they would pay £1.55 per month. This is in line with the Government allowing Police and Crime Commissioners greater flexibility to increase council tax levels to help maintain Police budgets and the service that the police provide.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the consultation, Peter McCall said: “Cumbria is one of the safest counties in the country and as Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to keeping it that way. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has graded our force as good (only 11 of the forces out of 43 across the country have this grade). It is important that this continues and we all work together to keep our communities safe.
“The last thing I want to do is to propose an increase in Council Tax Precept, and none of us likes to see an increase in what we pay, but I do have to be honest and realistic about funding the force, and without this increase in precept we simply will not keep up with increasing demand or inflation. Working with the Chief Constable to determine the operational Police requirement, I am proposing to increase council tax precept for 2019/20 by £2 month for a band D property.
“The additional revenue will allow us to build on the investment we have already made in our policing service and maintain the additional 25 police officers, who are already making a real difference in pursuing criminals and will continue to work proactively in your neighbourhood policing teams. It would also allow us to recruit another 20 officers, giving us even more ability to tackle serious crime, dealing with the issues which matter most to you in your local area – including preventing anti-social behaviour and unsafe driving, looking after children and vulnerable people, investigating serious crime and county lines and tackling serious and persistent offenders.
“Without the increase in precept there would be no other alternative other than to reluctantly reduce police officers numbers which is not in anyone’s interest or safety. I hope that you will agree with me that it is worth paying a bit more to keep Cumbria as one of the safest places to live in the Country.
“I urge you to take part in this very short survey, and help me to continue to provide a good, locally focused police force, dedicated to keeping you safe in Cumbria.”
The survey can be found at: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WHJLZ
Alternatively a paper copy can be obtained by ringing 01768 217734, or emailing: [email protected]
The consultation closes Wednesday 23 January 2019.