Views sought on police precept

Public views are being sought on plans to put up the police precept across the Northumbria force.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is proposing an increase in the charge of 1.99 per cent in the next financial year, which would provide an extra £630,000 in funds.

It is the maximum increase that can be set without the need for a referendum.

Currently, residents in a Band D property pay £1.67 a week in council tax for policing, which would rise to £1.70.

If the precept was to increase by 1.5 per cent, it would increase the payment to £1.69 a week and bring in an extra £470,000.

A third option is to have no precept increase and accept a £389,000 freeze grant from the Government. However, it would only be paid for one year.

Ms Baird said: “Our force has suffered tremendously from Government cuts to grants, with £45.8million lost in the past four years and a further £11.8million lost this year.

“We need every penny we can get and I’m asking if people would be content to pay a maximum increase of 3p a week on a Band D property to protect our local policing.”

To take part in the consultation visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/policeprecept by January 31. The survey should take less than a minute to do.