Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is proposing an increase of £13 a year in the policing precept – the part of council tax that goes towards the county’s policing budget – in proposals to be discussed by the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Panel on February 6.
An average Band D household would pay £306.04 for policing in 2024/25, which amounts to an increase of 4.44% or around 25p a week. The increase will allow the Force to meet the costs of the extra police officers recruited over the last few years – there are now 1500 police officers, the most ever – and to make improvements to the quality of service provided to the people of Northamptonshire.
Money has been set aside to make it easier for people to get in touch – there will be more staff in the control room to answer calls from the public, and it will be easier to contact the Force using social media and other channels.
There will also be funding for more training and development of police officers, to further enhance their skills so that the quality of service and crime investigations continues to improve.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that he will ensure that the money paid by council taxpayers is focussed on local priorities for policing.
“I want to ensure that Northamptonshire Police is focussed on the issues that really matter to people in their communities. The number of officers dedicated to neighbourhood policing has more than doubled, and in the coming months, even more police officers will be added to neighbourhood teams, so that there can be a focus on tackling local crime and anti-social behaviour,” Stephen Mold said.
“We have worked hard to recruit more police officers and to maintain the Force at 1500 officers, now I expect to prioritise the issues that matter most to people, so that it is as easy as possible for people to contact and engage with their local police, and so local problems are dealt with.
“We have many police officers who have joined the Force in the last couple of years, I also want to invest in their development, so that they are all able to reach their full potential and are protecting the public in the best way they can.”
Stephen Mold added that Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will look to share costs wherever possible to give the best value for the tax local people pay.
Funding for Northamptonshire Police is made up of grants from the Home Office and the council tax precept. Around 44% comes from the precept and 56% from the Government.
Stephen Mold said that the government’s funding for Northamptonshire Police has not kept pace with the county’s population and should be reviewed.
“Northamptonshire has grown by over 25% since 2001 compared with a national average in England of around 21.5%. Government funding has just not kept up and I will keep on pushing to ensure that our county gets the level of funding it needs so that residents are not left to pick up an increasing amount of the cost of policing in future years,” Stephen Mold said.
The Policing precept proposals will be considered by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel on Tuesday 6 February.