Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane’s proposal for a £5 increase in the policing element of council tax has been supported by the Police and Crime Panel.
This follows public support for his recommendation for an increase in the funding local residents provide in the Hampshire Constabulary area. As a result the £5 increase, equivalent to 10 pence a week for a Band D resident, will come into effect from April.
Michael Lane said: “I am delighted that a significant number of people listened to why we needed to increase the policing precept by £5 and were in agreement with it, and I would like to thank everyone who responded to my consultation.
“This precept decision for 2017/18 takes into account both the immediate and medium term resourcing requirements that enable Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth to be safer now and in the future. This £5 increase puts us in a stronger position to meet the immediate risks and continue to respond to the ever increasing complexity of crime.
“However, even with this, and any possible future increases in council tax, it is estimated that if national government funding for policing continues to be worked out in a way that is unfair we will be facing a funding shortfall of £23 million a year by 2021.”
An increase of £5 (3.12%) per year, in the policing element of the precept, for a Band D resident generates an extra £3.3 million for Hampshire Constabulary.
This increase means current level of funding from central government is protected, and allows the current level of neighbourhood policing to be maintained and will enable some further enhancements and modernisation to police services. However, local funding and efficiencies alone cannot meet the funding shortfall that Hampshire Constabulary faces.
Chairman of Hampshire’s Police and Crime Panel, Councillor David Stewart, said: “The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel has today supported the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed increase in the Council Tax precept for 2017/18 – which equates to an extra £5 per year for the average Band D property.
“Through the work of our finance working group, we satisfied ourselves that the precept increase is appropriate to maintain an effective level of policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the next financial year, whilst at the same time acknowledging the continuing financial pressures.
“The Panel is confident that by supporting the PCC’s budget for 2017/18, the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will continue to receive a high quality policing service.”
2,800 residents responded to the Commissioners’ consultation asking what level of funding they would be willing to contribute to help keep Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth safer now and in the future. A solid majority of 79% of people* said they were willing to fund an increase of £5.
* The question ‘Do you agree with my recommendation of a £5 increase’ was answered by 1,547 people.