SUPPORT SHOWN FOR COUNCIL TAX INCREASE TO FUND POLICE, SAYS COMMISSIONER – Island Echo

Policing and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has presented her recommendation to the Policing and Crime Committee for the council tax precept this year, which is expected to increase after extensive consultation and this which she says is “great support” from local residents.

On January 28, Commissioner Jones will set out plans to raise council tax police precept by 4.4%, or £10 a year based on D-strip properties, which will raise £9million additional for Hampshire Police in 2022/23. Almost two-thirds of local residents and partners who responded to the commissioner’s consultation said they would agree with a 4.4% increase to support policing and prevent crime.

An increase of £10 a year (based on D-band properties) will support the implementation of the Commissioner’s Policing and Crime Plan ‘More Police, Safer Streets’ and fund new initiatives including:

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  • The recruitment of 196 new police officers for the Hampshire Constabulary and Enabling Infrastructure, which supports the achievement of the CCP’s number one priority of having 600 additional police officers by 2023 and the priority of improving police visibility
  • An additional £1m in 2022/23 to support an increase in the commissioning of services to meet the Commissioner’s priorities to improve outcomes for victims and prevent young people from committing crime
  • Significant investment in 101 support staff and infrastructure to reduce call wait times and provide better feedback
  • Investing in the policing estate to ensure it remains operationally efficient and provides a modern and safe working environment for officers and staff

The increase in precepts will help ensure the police have adequate resources to tackle crime and the Commissioner’s total investment in the Constabulary will increase by £28m from the 2021/22 budget. This includes a focus on delivering the 5 main areas that have the most impact on the public in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: Serious and Organized Crime and Counter Terrorism; murder and serious violence; domestic violence, rape and serious sexual offences; child abuse, exploitation and vulnerability, as well as fraud and cybercrime.

PCC Donna Jones said:

“I would like to thank the local residents and partners for taking the time to share their feedback with me during my consultation.

“Thanks to the strong support I have received and the operational recommendation of the Chief Constable, I will present my intention to the Policing and Crime Committee to increase the police precept by £10 a year this year. This will help support the achievement of the priorities set out in my policing and crime plan “More Police, Safer Streets”, including the recruitment of 196 new police officers; improvements to 101 to reduce wait times for calls and improve feedback; modern, improved and safe police buildings, and additional commissioning funds to prevent crime, divert young people from crime and improve victim services.

“All of this will help make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight two of the safest places to live, work and visit without fear of crime.”

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