Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore proposes £24 tax increase
Suffolk Police looks set to hike its part of the Council Tax by more than 10 per cent – the highest allowed by government – as pressures on its budget continue.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said that without the ‘difficult decision’ to raise rates, policing capability in the county would be compromised, and he promised the extra money would fund more officers.
The rise would mean Band D Council Tax-payers in Suffolk forking out £24 a year more to the force– bringing that part of the bill to £212 per annum.
Mr Passmore is now asking residents if they agree with his precept rise – and is set to present his proposal to the police and crime panel later this month.
“This has put me in a very difficult position, but I feel I have no choice but to consider the maximum increase because without it, the policing capability across the county would be compromised,” he said.
If rates are hiked, combined with grants from central government, Suffolk Police’s budget next financial year would be £9.2 million higher than in 2018/19.
But because of the force’s multi-million pensions deficit and rising staff costs, just £4.8 million would be free to be spent on policing in 2019/20 – less than the £6.5 million generated from rate rises.
The remaining cash will be used to fund 29 extra police officers across Suffolk, 24 police staff investigators, and on technology improvements including numberplate recognition cameras and a police drone.
“Difficult decisions need to be made but the overwhelming view of the public that I talk to say they want more officers policing the county and this proposal gives us exactly that,” he said.
More by this authorDan Barker