Fund­ing passed on to pub­lic – com­mis­sioner

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews -

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.

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