Crime Tsar: 17p-a-week rise will help us fund extra police officers
APOLICE boss vowed to do everything in his power to protect vulnerable people, after signing off a 17p-a-week increase in the cost of policing in the region.
The extra money will pay for 43 new officers and staff members, as well as safeguarding the posts of 15 constables in North Wales.
The 3.58% increase proposed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones was backed last week by the North Wales Police and Crime Panel.
It will be the lowest rise in the policing element of the council tax of all the four forces in Wales, and will be among the lowest of the 43 constabularies across England and Wales.
Even after the increase, Band D householders will pay less than £5 a week in council tax towards policing.
An online survey, conducted by Mr Jones, showed that 60% of Council Taxpayers who responded were in favour of a hike of 3% or more.
More than 1,300 people took part in the survey, which was a 33% increase on the number of people who participated in a similar poll last year.
Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “It was vitally important that we set the precept at the right level to ensure we can continue to provide an effective and efficient police service while, at the same time, remaining financially prudent and delivering money.
“In these days of reduced police spending, we must target our resources carefully and the increase in precept has been arrived at with value for that in mind.
“I worked closely with the Chief Constable and discussed with him what level of budget was needed to deliver the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.
“The increase will enable us to employ an additional 43 people this year, on top of the 46 we recruited last year.
“My vision for policing North Wales is based on reducing threat, risk and harm by identifying the most vulnerable people in society. I will do everything in my power to protect them.
“Three of the five priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are based around vulnerability, and the plan also reflects the changing face of policing, with the emerging and often hidden crimes like modern slavery and human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, with the threat posed by online paedophiles.
“In relation to child sexual exploitation, a multiagency regional plan was developed some time ago.
“The Onyx team, established by North Wales Police to tackle these abhorrent offences, will continue to further develop their work. I will work with our partners to ensure all that can be done to safeguard these children is given the priority it deserves.
“In addition, we will increase the number of programmes for perpetrators to reduce repeat offending and repeat victimisation.
“Another priority is the continued development of the Paedophile and Online Investigation Team (POLIT) in identifying perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, including those accessing indecent images of children through the internet, and effective multi- agency working to protect children identified as being at risk.
“I’m pleased we’re investing so many resources in tackling online sexual exploitation because the care of children is the most important thing we do.
“I’m very happy to support the force in providing as much resource as needed to ensure children, wherever they may be in the world, are safe.
“The aim is to secure an increase in reporting of sexual and domestic abuse by giving victims the confidence to come forward.
“We will provide an overall better service for victims affected by domestic and sexual abuse, and I want more perpetrators brought to justice so they can answer for their appalling crimes.”
Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner