Funding passed on to public – commissioner
CHESHIRE’S police and crime commissioner (PCC) says the Government is ‘passing the baton’ for funding the force on to residents.
David Keane has told the Cheshire police and crime panel he will ask Acting Chief Constable Janette McCormick how much money will be needed in 2019-20 before launching a public consultation in January about raising the council tax precept.
It comes after James Brokenshire MP, Secretary Of State For Housing, Communities And Local Government, announced that PCCs could raise their annual precept by up to £24 on a Band D property from April 1, 2019.
Mr Keane, who is a Labour councillor in Warrington, said that ‘while local residents are generally very supportive of the police’, PCCs like himself now have a difficult decision to make.
“What residents are telling me already is that they are still paying the same tax nationally,” Mr Keane said.
“What the Government seems to be doing is moving the burden of paying for policing to local residents.
“Residents need to understand that [the Government] is passing the baton and the responsibility for funding from a national level to a local level if they want a police force that can be effective, efficient and responsive.”
Mr Keane added that forces are feeling the brunt of funding cuts to other public sector services as well as policing as they try to keep the public safe.
“We need properly-funded public services,” he said.
“It’s cuts to social services, it’s cuts to youth services, it’s cuts to mental health services, it’s cuts to every other area of the public sector and welfare state that put an increasing amount of pressure on policing.
“One chief constable said recently that only 20% of police resources and time is spent on crime.
“The other 80% therefore is spent on supporting services that have been cruelly slashed over the past decade or so. I can’t make that point firmly enough.”
Cheshire police increased its precept for this year by £12 on a Band D property.