Suffolk council taxpayers to pay extra 1p a day in policing precept increase
- Credit: Archant
Taxpayers will have to pay an extra penny a day after plans to increase the police precept were approved.
At today's meeting of the Police and Crime Panel at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House, the panel unanimously supported Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, with his proposal to increase the policing precept by 1.972% for 2017/18.
The rise will generate an income of around £830,000 to the Constabulary's budget in the next financial year.
For taxpayers, the increase to the policing element of the precept means the average council tax payment will rise from £173.43 to £176.85 per year in 2016/17, an average of just under 7p a week, based on a Band D property.
Mr Passmore said: 'I am reassured that the Police and Crime panel accepted my recommendation to raise the policing element of the precept this year.
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'I am conscious that finances are tight in many households but this increase of just under 1p a day is required to continue to keep Suffolk safe.'
He added: 'Suffolk Constabulary does a great job; it's a low-cost force and offers good value for money but savings still need to be made.
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'Over the next four years we have to save £6.76million, the Chief Constable has identified £4.1m but that still leaves £2.6m to find, which is no easy feat.
'It's quite a challenge but we will get there, very clearly, because we need to.'
Mr Passmore told the panel that there needs to be wider public sector reform, especially when it comes to pooling resources.
'I'm afraid to say that there are still one or two dinosaurs that think we can carry on without making changes,' he said. 'We have to do a lot more to pool resources and maximise what we do have for the frontline.
'Our police officers are spending too much time on mental health related matters, civil parking enforcement – these signify a problem we all have in the public sector.
'The demand on the Constabulary is changing so the way they police the county needs to change too but I want to reassure everyone that Suffolk Constabulary will continue to respond in an emergency and your safer neighbourhood teams will continue to operate locally, supported by the neighbourhood response teams and enhanced investigation teams.'