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Three-quarters of survey respondents in favour of police precept increase

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A PROPOSAL to apply a small increase to the police element (precept) of Council Tax has been supported by the Durham Police and Crime Panel, at the Panel's meeting earlier today.

This will result in a small rise in the precept of 1.98% from April, equivalent to 4p a week, or £2.20 a year, for households in Council Tax Band A.

Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, sought views from residents about the proposed precept increase, as part of his annual consultation. Local people met Ron at events in leisure centres and community meetings, and also responded online and by telephone throughout January.

Residents from across all twelve neighbourhood policing teams gave their views.  From the 324 valid responses to the consultation, 77 per cent were in favour of Ron’s proposal to increase the precept by 1.98 per cent from April 2017.

Ron said: “Since the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in 2015, the impact of cuts to police budgets mean the amount of funding coming to local policing from Government is still reducing year on year. In 2017-18 I will receive £1.1m less to fund your local police force than I did in 2016-17.

“I am very conscious of the challenge that people face in terms of their household finances. The Panel today agreed that there was a clear public endorsement to the increase, from the residents who had taken the time to give me their views. Whilst I recognise that some respondents preferred to maintain the current precept level, over three-quarters of respondents did support the increase. This will take place from April 2017.

“I remain committed to ensuring the police have the resources they need to ensure the public receive the police service they deserve. This small increase will raise £560,000 for 2017-18, and maintain the equivalent of six Police Officers in post.”

Cllr Joy Allen, Chair of the Panel said: “Any increase less than 1.98% or keeping the precept at the current level would result in lower baseline going forward and would potentially jeopardise front line policing.  Crime and the fear of crime is always a priority for residents and this is reflected in the feedback from majority of respondents who support the proposed increase. 

“The Panel will continue to hold the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner to account. We want Durham to maintain its enviable record as being one of only two forces in the country to be graded as outstanding following the HMIC efficiency inspection.”

Ron continues to monitor the work Durham Constabulary has undertaken to increase value for money and to protect community policing.

- ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • There were 324 valid responses to the consultation.
  • 77% (249 responses were in favour), 23% (75 responses) believed it should remain at the current level.
  • Council Tax band table (police precept) for 2017-18, and % of responses are below:

 Durham Police Precept table 2017-18

* 55% of households in County Durham and Darlington are classed as Band A.

** Nationally, a typical property is classed as Band D.

 By age_Durham Council Tax (police precept) 2017-18

 By place_Durham Council Tax (police precept) 2017-18

Posted on Thursday 2nd February 2017
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