Raising the rate - crime commissioner seeks public's views on Northumbria Police precept

Households across the Northumbria area are being asked their views on how to fund austerity-hit police budgets.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:45 am
Kim McGuinness.

Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness has launched a public consultation on the police precept, the force’s share of local council tax bills, asking people how much they are prepared to pay to support the police.

The consultation will ask households their views on a range of increases to the precept.

The lowest potential rise, the equivalent of a 22 pence a month increase for a Band D property, would meet basic costs but provide the force no additional funds to tackle emerging crime trends.

Options up to a 78 pence per month rise in the precept would allow the force to increase resources and invest in crime prevention.

Announcing the consultation, she said: “Northumbria Police has had its funding reduced by the Government every year since 2011. This has led to budget cuts for the police and a greater reliance upon the police precept share of your overall council tax bill to fund services.

“Both myself and Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen have made neighbourhood policing and frontline resources a priority, but the ongoing financial uncertainty has made it more difficult to keep communities safe.

“I believe the Government should be doing more to fund police forces, but I know that difficult decisions may have to be taken locally to ensure Northumbria Police have the resources they need to keep us all safe.”

The consultation ends on January 22.