Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Isle of Wight Portsmouth and Southampton is asking residents what level of contribution they are willing to make towards the cost of local policing through their council tax.
Police funding is made up of a national grant from Government, which accounts for two thirds of the total, and council tax – which accounts for the other third.
The Government has said that it will ensure that police forces receive the same amount of money (flat cash) as they did last year. However, Government has made it a condition that a minimum contribution is required from the local tax provision to deliver this flat cash commitment. For the Hampshire Constabulary area this equates to £3.29 per year for the average Band D household (a 1.99% increase).
Michael Lane said: “While the amount of funding Hampshire Constabulary receives would broadly remain the same, the costs of providing policing services are rising due to increase in demand, the pay award agreed by Government for police officers and inflation.
“These pressures mean that even with a council tax increase at the maximum of 1.99%, there is an expected shortfall of £10 million for 2018/19 financial year to meet the cost of maintaining a level of policing that keeps us all safer.
“I am keen to hear from our council tax payers the level of contribution they are willing to make. The survey will ensure I hear the voices of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton residents and the results will help me to set this year’s precept.
According to new data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) value for money profile, Hampshire Constabulary is already the third lowest cost per head of population and its funding levels are £47.7m below the national average, notwithstanding it is one of the largest constabularies.
Michael Lane added “Whilst government funding continues to be worked out in the same way, our area will continue to be unfairly disadvantaged from underfunding. This, alongside the cap on the level of resourcing we can ask for locally, will adversely affect the ability to sustain what Hampshire Constabulary delivers today, and into the future, to defeat those who wish us harm and engage in criminal activity.
“As your Police and Crime Commissioner it has been one of my highest priorities to make the case for a fairer national funding formula, which informs how much a police force receives through this major part of our funding. I continue to work hard lobbying the Government for this on your behalf.”
The survey is available online and is open until 12pm on 22 January 2018.