The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP) has backed the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Hampshire, Michael Lane’s proposed increase to the Council Tax policing precept for 2019/20 – the amount Hampshire residents contribute to local policing through their Council Tax.
Panel members heard Mr Lane set out his case on 25 January to raise the precept by £2 a month for residents in a band D property. This equates to an extra £24 for the year 2019/20.
The increase will be used to meet the current and evolving challenges facing police in keeping our communities safe, supporting frontline policing, as well as enabling the recruitment of around 200 more officers. It will also allow for:
- reinvestment in front line policing in Neighbourhood and Response Patrol teams and increasing the capacity for investigating crimes
- accommodating the national pay award of two per cent each year for all officers and staff, as well as in-year pension increases
Commenting on the PCP’s unanimous support for the PCC’s proposal to increase the amount charged in Council Tax to pay for policing, Chairman of Hampshire's Police and Crime Panel, Councillor David Stewart, said: "The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel has supported the Commissioner’s proposed increase in the Council Tax precept for 2019/20, which we believe will help meet the current and evolving challenges facing our police service in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, tackling issues such as hate crime and ensuring we have the numbers of police we need to help keep our streets safe.
"Through the work of our finance working group, we satisfied ourselves that the precept increase is required to support Hampshire Constabulary deliver effective policing over the next financial year, whilst at the same time acknowledging the continuing financial pressures the force faces.
“The Panel will also be continuing to support the Commissioner in his plans to lobby the Government for a fairer funding formula for policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.”
The Panel heard that the Commissioner’s proposed increase to the Council Tax precept had received support from members of the public through a consultation undertaken by the Office of the PCC, as well as Hampshire Constabulary’s Chief Constable, the Hampshire Police Federation, UNISON and Neighbourhood Watch.
Set up in 2012, the Panel’s role is to scrutinise and support the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner and maintain a regular check and balance on his performance.
Now the Panel has approved the proposal, the Commissioner is in a position to set his precept for the next financial year.