A proposal by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire for a below inflation increase in the council tax precept has been agreed.
David Lloyd has decided on the £15 a year increase for an average Band D council tax property to maintain the hundreds of extra officers who have joined the county’s largest ever police force.
The additional £7m raised will ensure a strong neighbourhood policing and response service is upheld following the public’s demand to see more police officers.
The extra officers are being used to tackle public crime concerns, including burglary, cybercrime and violence against women and girls.
Mr Lloyd said: ‘This budget will enable the constabulary to maintain Hertfordshire’s largest ever police service. The uplift programme over the past three years has seen more than 300 extra officers joining the constabulary.
‘It will also allow the delivery of our Prevention First programme which implements evidence-based policing to prevent risk, harm and victimisation. It also focuses on preventing and reducing harm for the most vulnerable, as well as tackling violence against women and girls.
‘In addition, we will invest in our professional standards and vetting teams to maintain our high standards, continue to root out those who have no place in our police service, and maintain public confidence.
‘Standstill pressures this year are higher than they have been in previous years with pressure on pay, non-pay and capital financing budgets. Despite that, I am delivering a below inflation increase in the precept to recognise the pressure being faced by households across the county.’
Mr Lloyd was speaking after the proposed precept was examined and supported by Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Panel on the evening of Thursday 2 February.
Mr Lloyd’s decision follows a public consultation in which 54 per cent of residents said they wanted to pay more to support policing in the county. Out of almost 2,500 replies the remaining 37 per cent disagreed with the proposal and 9 per cent were neutral.
The increase means the annual precept for an average (Band D) property will go from £223 to £238. Two thirds of properties in Hertfordshire are in council tax bands A to D, so will pay an extra £15 or less per annum. Households will pay more or less than the average depending on their house banding, Band A will pay £10, while Band H will pay £30 extra.
Running Hertfordshire Police is expected to cost £271.6m in the next financial year from 2023/24. This is funded by a combination of £142.2m from central government, £111m from the council tax and an additional £18.4m in fees, charges and other grants. Together they would represent an increase of £11m in the police budget, a rise of four per cent.