People will soon be paying 12 per cent more for policing in Cambridgeshire, it has been revealed

PUBLISHED: 10:20 01 February 2019

Jason Ablewhite (centre) at a police committee this week; he says 2,086 people responded to a survey on extra cash for policing and that 1,752 people were happy to pay more. Picture: POLICE COMMISSIONER

Jason Ablewhite (centre) at a police committee this week; he says 2,086 people responded to a survey on extra cash for policing and that 1,752 people were happy to pay more. Picture: POLICE COMMISSIONER

Archant

People will soon be paying 12 per cent more for policing in Cambridgeshire, but it has been promised the money will be used to boost police numbers with 50 new officers.

Yesterday (January 30) the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel agreed to increase the policing council tax precept by 12 per cent.

This equates to £1.33 for a household in a band A property to £3.99 for on in a band H home. An average band D council tax property will see their policing bill increasing from £198.72 to £222.66 per annum, an increase of £2 per month. It is hoped the increase could generate £7.6million of additional funding

The new council tax rate will come into effect from April 1.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said the money raised from the tax hike would be used to recruit new police officers to help tackle crime in the county.

Mr Ablewhite said: “Demand on policing continues to grow and whilst Cambridgeshire is a safe county, police now have to spend more time tackling ‘hidden crimes’ such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery. They also spend time helping those in a mental health crisis, all of which means resources can be stretched.

“Added to that, our county’s population is set to rise by 20 per cent by 2031, therefore, it is vital we have enough resources in place to police our county.

“I can give my assurance that the additional money raised through this year’s council tax will be used to recruit 50 new warranted officers.”

A report which went before the board reads: “A £2 rise per month would generate around £7.6m of additional funding. This would enable the existing cost pressures to be met and for up to 50 officers to be recruited and deployed into local policing in Cambridgeshire.”

A total of 2,030 people responded to a police survey asking for their views on increasing the tax precept. The result was that 61 per cent of those who responded said they were prepared to pay an extra £2 a month for policing.

The survey also found 23 per cent were prepared to pay an even bigger increase of £10 a month, while 15 per cent said they would not want to pay any more.

“A clear theme amongst respondents to the survey was that people were prepared to pay more if the money was spent on neighbourhood policing,” Mr Ablewhite added.

The board heard 75 new officers would be added to police numbers in the coming year, bringing the total to 1,496.

The report reads: “Despite ongoing budget pressures, the total number of police officer posts in the Constabulary establishment is budgeted to increase by 75 local officers to 1,496 officers in 2019/20. The increase in precept will fund 50 of these”.

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