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Michael Lane sets out his proposal for the council tax

21 January 2021

Following significant support from local residents through consultation and a compelling operational imperative from the Chief Constable, Michael Lane, the Police and Crime Commissioner has set out his recommendation to the Police and Crime Panel, for the police precept increase this year.

 

On 29 January 2021, the Police and Crime Commissioner will be presenting his intention to increase the policing precept of the council tax by £15 per annum (based on band D properties) which will raise an additional £10m for Hampshire Constabulary in 2021/22.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane said, “I promised on day one I would do all I could to make people safer from the first day to the last day that I have the privilege and responsibility of holding this role. With the significant support I have received from local residents and the compelling operational case from the Chief Constable that crime would be reduced, I firmly believe the police precept increase will keep local residents and our communities safer delivering to the promises I have made and is the only option. I therefore intend to raise the policing precept by £15 per annum this year.

I will present my intention and supporting argument to the Police and Crime Panel in the hope that the panel find it as compelling as I do and agree it is a right decision and give the support for this increase to keep all of our local residents and communities safer.”

An increase of £15 per annum (based on Band D properties) will enable:

  • The recruitment of an additional 146 police officers to Hampshire Constabulary above the current number and seven new officers to the Regional Organised Crime unit.
  • The capability to arrest an extra 300 of the most dangerous organised criminals who run county lines drug crime in our towns and cities, delivered through an additional 16 officers (on top of our 146 national increase).
  • The investigation of up to 26,000 more crimes.
  • The reduction of 1,000 crimes a year, through new prevention work that diverts young people from crime and protects vulnerable people.
  • Safeguarding an additional 12,000 vulnerable people.
  • Keeping investment in Country Watch, taking the fight to organised crime groups who go into farms and other rural communities to steal quad bikes and machinery to fuel and fund crime elsewhere in the force area.
  • Continued investment in force buildings, technology and essential safety kit. As well as investment in the police estates, this will allow the provision of vital equipment such as necessary replacements to our body armour, new digital technology, Taser and further investment in the Marine Unit.
  • A further focus on reducing sickness to keep staff and officers at work serving the public
  • Better justice for victims and more criminals held to account. Policing relies on the whole criminal justice system, and COVID-19 has had a huge impact in terms of delays and pressure on that system. This budget will enable the force to meet required standards on an additional backlog of 200 Crown Court trials and 2,500 Magistrate Court cases that are in the system.

Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner said, “This is a time of exceptional change and uncertainty. The pandemic has made a massive difference to how we live and behave and our economy is stretched which has an impact across all of our communities. It is because of this it was more important than ever that I heard the views from local residents on the policing element of the council tax. I also challenged the Chief Constable to state her operational stance and need for additional funding to inform my thoughts on any increase this year.

“Through an extensive consultation of over 8,000 local residents across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, there was significant support for an increase in the precept to support policing.

“The Chief Constable has set out an operational recommendation for the £15 increase that would enable the force to reduce crime by taking the fight to criminals and keep our communities safer. In her recommendation to me, the Chief Constable has stated that anything other than this increase would fly in the face of operational evidence.

“The Hampshire Police Federation, the Hampshire Police Superintendents Association and Unison have all also given their backing to an increase this year to support policing and the continued wellbeing of officers to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

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