Northumbria PCC calls for views on police precept rise

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Northumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner is asking for the views of residents on the amount of money households are asked to pay for policing.

The Government recently announced that Northumbria Police would receive £217.5million, but the only basis on which the police budget will not be cut is if the police precept part of council tax is raised by £5 per year for a Band D property.

Chancellor George Osborne has set the budget expecting the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Vera Baird, to raise the precept by £5 for a band D property to raise £2.05million.

In previous years, the Government has made grants available to those Police & Crime Commissioners who did not increase their precept - this has been scrapped.

In Northumbria, a band D property currently pays £1.70 per week in council tax for their police service. A £5 increase would mean a band D property owner would pay an extra 10p a week.

However, most residents have a band A property and currently pay £1.13 per week, so the increase would be an extra 7p a week (£3.64 for the full year).

Northumbria currently has the lowest police precept of all the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

Residents can email their views, which must be accompanied by a home address, to enquiries@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk All responses should be received by Friday, January 22.

Ms Baird said: “The Chief Constable and I are doing our very best to preserve the high standards of policing that we are used to here and we have looked at all options to save money to protect neighbourhood policing.

“If the police precept is not increased by £5 per year for a band D property, it will have an impact on the cash available for policing in Northumbria.

“The Chancellor did not consult on whether our, or anyone else’s, police precept should be increased, but has budgeted on the basis that it will be. He is, in effect, saying that we must raise the precept or lose out.

“I am therefore asking if people would be content to pay a maximum increase of 10p a week on a band D property to protect our local policing. I want to hear what local residents think is best for Northumbria.”