Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for an increase of £15 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 2.
The 5.3 per cent increase, which works out at around 29p a week extra for a band D property, is significantly below the rate of inflation but would allow the Force to continue to meet the costs of recruiting and maintaining more police officers, and to make other investments that will increase efficiency.
Northamptonshire Police is on target to have the greatest number of police officers that it has ever had, 1,500 by March 2023, and that has brought a new focus on neighbourhoods and proactive policing of the crimes that matter to people the most.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I understand the pressures that every household is facing this year and it is difficult to ask people to pay more. Despite this, Northamptonshire residents have also told me that they support the investments that have been made and want them to continue.
“Meeting the increased costs of more police officers and a growing Force is just about sustainable with this level of precept increase, but we will continue to face considerable pressure on our budget and will need to make savings. Both Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will also 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 contribution local taxpayers make through the council tax precept. Around 45 per cent of the funding for Northamptonshire Police comes from the precept, with the other 55 per cent coming from central government.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said that he will continue to lobby the Home Office for a fairer funding formula so that Northamptonshire residents are not left to pick up an increasing amount of the cost of policing in future.
Stephen Mold said: “Taxpayers in Northamptonshire pay more towards their local police force than taxpayers in many other counties. This isn’t fair and I will continue to fight our corner to ensure that this county gets the level of government funding that it deserves.”
The policing precept is around 14 per cent of the council tax paid by a band D household in Northamptonshire.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s policing precept proposals will be considered by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel at a meeting that will be held in public, on Thursday February 2.