Surrey Police - Council Tax 2020-2021 have your say
Message sent on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro.
Council Tax 2020/21 - Have your say on next year’s police funding in Surrey
Would you be prepared to pay a little extra on your council tax bill to further improve the policing service in Surrey?
As Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, that is the important question I am asking residents as I launch my annual public consultation on the policing element of the council tax for 2020/21.
I am seeking your views on two options - a 5% rise for the next year which would allow further investment in more officers and staff or a 2% inflationary increase which would allow Surrey Police to maintain a steady course over the next financial year.
A 5% rise would equate to around a £13 a year rise for an average Band D property while 2% would mean an extra £5 on a Band D annual bill.
Please take a minute to fill in our brief survey and give me your views by clicking HERE
By now we would have ordinarily received the annual government settlement which outlines how much central grant Surrey Police will get along with the maximum level of council tax I am allowed to raise as PCC.
But due to the unusual timing of the recent general election that settlement, which is usually announced before Christmas, has been delayed until some point in late January. With a proposed budget needing to be finalised in early February, this has unfortunately restricted our ability to financially plan together with Surrey Police.
However, this year, I believe we have a good story to tell following a long period of cuts to police services across the country. As we enter a new decade, the future is bright for policing in Surrey with more officers being put back into our communities which I know the county’s residents want to see.
Of those who took part in our consultation last year, around three quarters supported my proposal for an extra 10% on the policing part of their council tax bill in exchange for 79 additional officers and operational staff as well as preventing the loss of 25 other posts. I am pleased to say those extra recruits will all be in post or doing their training by May 2020.
I have met many of them over the last year and have been struck by their enthusiasm and appetite to get on with the job. They are very welcome additions to the Surrey police team who I have no doubt will do the county proud.
Added to this, it was announced last October that Surrey will receive central funding for an extra 78 police officers over the next year as part of the government’s three year programme to increase police officer numbers nationally by 20,000.
To complement that uplift, a 5% increase in police council tax would allow Surrey Police to invest in:
- A further uplift in local police officers providing a visible presence in our communities
- Extra Neighbourhood Support Police Officers and Youth Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) to prevent and help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and provide local community engagement
- Police staff who can carry out investigations and help keep officers out visible to the public
- Police staff who can analyse complex data to match police resources to demand and who can carry out forensic analysis of computers and phones
A 2% increase in line with inflation will allow the force to continue the police officer training, keep recruiting officers to replace those retiring or leaving and bring in the extra 78 centrally funded officers.
This consultation will close at midday on Thursday 6 February 2020. If you want to read more about my proposal and the reasons for it - CLICK HERE
Together with Surrey Police, I am also carrying out a series of public engagement events in every borough in the county in the next five weeks to hear people’s views in person. You can sign up to your nearest event by CLICKING HERE
Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey