Cambridgeshire’s acting police and crime commissioner Ray Bisby poses three questions to win budget support

Ray Bisby taking over in December as the acting PCC. The taking of the oath was overseen by Justice

Ray Bisby taking over in December as the acting PCC. The taking of the oath was overseen by Justice of the Peace, Benjamyn Damazer JP DL (pictured). - Credit: Archant

Acting police and crime commissioner Ray Bisby wants to know if you think it would be nice to see more officers on the street.

He says the answer - one of three he's using for a new online survey - will help to plot the police force budget for the next 12 months.

Question one asks "to what extent do you agree that police officer visibility in your community is important?" with responses to all questions ranging from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree'.

His second question wants residents to assess "how important is it that police officers are adequately supported to carry out their duties in terms of equipment and training?

And finally Mr Bisby links Cambridgeshire's growing population with training of back office staff.

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"With an increase in population, how important is it that police staff levels are maintained in order to support policing in Cambridgeshire, for example call handlers, training officers?," he asks.

The remaining four questions cover your age, ethnicity, whether you have a disability or infirmity, gender and which part of the county you live.

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"Your views will help inform my decision as to the future level of the policing part of your council tax," says Mr Bisby.

"Last year you told us you wanted to see more officers out in your communities. Thanks to your support for an increase in the policing part of your council tax, we have seen police officer numbers reach record levels in Cambridgeshire.

"An additional 50 officers were recruited with the aim of increasing visible neighbourhood policing as well as supporting a partnership approach to crime prevention."

But Mr Bisby is concerned whether the force will have sufficient manpower and resources to spend more time "tackling the growing complexity of crimes such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, modern day slavery and drug dealing known as 'county lines'."

The Government, he says, has announced funding for extra police officers but the existing 1,500 officers in Cambridgeshire and the infrastructure that supports them still needs maintaining and developing, which will bring cost pressures, not least from inflation alone".

Just over half the cost of running Cambridgeshire police comes from a Government grant, with the remainder paid for out of council tax.

"In due course, the government will announce the amount by which the policing part of council tax can be raised and I would seek to follow that guidance," he says

"As an indication, a two per cent increase on a Band D property would equate to 37p per month."

"In order to support the chief constable to deliver a policing service which is as resilient as it can be, I would be grateful if you could spare a moment or two to complete my short survey."

A link to the survey can be found here: Link to Commissioner's survey.It is open until January 27.

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