Hampshire Police and Crime Panel approves proposed increase in policing precept
The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel has given its backing to proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire (PCC), Simon Hayes, to increase the amount residents will have to pay for policing across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in 2014/15.
At the Panel’s latest meeting on Friday 24 January 2014, Simon Hayes put forward an increase in the policing precept of 3 per cent for the coming financial year. For residents in an average B and D property, this would equate to an increase in the policing charge of their council tax, of £4.45 for the year 2014/15, or 9 pence a week. As a result, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire’s basic council tax for the year beginning 1 April 2014 would be £155.79, per annum, at Band D.
Before any precept can be finalised, an announcement is due from Government in the coming weeks, as to how much PCCs can increase their precept before a public referendum is triggered.
In supporting the proposed precept level increase for 2014/15, the PCP resolved to recommend that should the public referendum limit for Police and Crime Commissioners be set at a limit lower than the 3 per cent increase proposed, the precept increase should be capped at that limit.
Commenting on the Panel’s majority support for the proposal, Police and Crime Panel Chairman, Councillor David Stewart, said: “The Panel probed the Police and Crime Commissioner thoroughly on the rationale and data behind the recommendation for the precept increase, because we are acutely aware that the public are having to deal with numerous austerity measures in the current economic climate.
“The general view of the Panel was to look to maintain support for the safety of communities, and we were satisfied, based on the information and scrutiny undertaken, that we could support a further 3 per cent in the precept this year.
“We hope that residents will understand that there are significant activities planned for policing, including a proposed restructure, and substantial savings have to be achieved over and above the previous £55 million target set for the period 2011-2015. We want to ensure that communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight receive the level of policing they deserve.”
The proposed increase of 3 per cent to the policing precept for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be subject to confirmation by the Police and Crime Commissioner prior to the end of March 2014.