PCC ‘left with no choice but to raise the police precept’

Dame Vera Baird.
Dame Vera Baird.

The Police and Crime Panel for Northumbria has unanimously approved an increase to the police precept of 10p per week for a band D property.

Following public consultation, which was mainly complimentary about the police and supportive of the rise, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Vera Baird QC, said: “The Government continues to cut police funding; since 2010, Northumbria has had to make £123million of cuts and efficiencies to manage the impact of government funding reductions. Despite government claims, the only way our police budget will not be cut is if every PCC in the country raises their precept by the maximum amount possible.

“The Government is telling the 10 police forces with the lowest police precept to increase by the sum of £5 per band D house per year and Northumbria is one of those forces.

“Local residents have told me that they value neighbourhood policing and to ensure Northumbria continues to deliver effective policing, I’m left with no choice but to raise the precept to ensure the police have the resources to cut crime and continue delivering excellent neighbourhood policing for the people of Northumbria.

“Northumbria still has the lowest police precept in the country at £65.55 for a band A property.”

Coun John McElroy, chairman of the Police and Crime Panel, said: “The panel is disappointed at having to approve an increase in the precept of this level, but we seem to have no alternative.

“It’s important that the PCC delivers the priorities of local residents, who have said loud and clear that they value neighbourhood policing. To ensure this is delivered, the Commissioner has looked at all budgets and determined that she must meet the Government’s requirement of increasing the Band D precept by £5.”