Small council tax rise will stave off cuts to frontline police officers and PCSOs

The portion of council tax for Lincolnshire Police is to rise to ensure the current number of officers can be maintained.

The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick has welcomed the decision by the Police and Crime Panel to approve his proposal to increase the 2015/16 Police Precept by 1.95 per cent.

“I am delighted at the unanimous vote to approve the 1.95 per cent increase in the police precept which I had proposed,” he said.
“This means that my pledge to keep 1,100 frontline officers and 149 PCSOs can continue to be honoured.
“Neighbourhood Policing will not be under threat and I am delighted.”

The rise will mean a weekly increase for a Band D council tax payer of seven pence (£3.78 a year).
Mr Hardwick said the provisional grant announcement by Government was disappointing.

He said: “I have written to the Home Secretary expressing my dissatisfaction with the way in which the funding available has been allocated and setting out clearly the approach that the Home Office should take to provide a fair funding deal for the people of Lincolnshire.”

But Mr Hardwick said he was encouraged by the ongoing talks he and Chief Constable Neil Rhodes were having with the Home Office, adding: “We continue to be in dialogue with the Home Office and the Policing Minister about funding for the force and look forward to welcoming a team of his officials to see the way we work and then later, both the Police Minister and the Home Secretary have accepted our invitations to visit Lincolnshire Police and see for themselves the way we police.

“If other forces policed like us, the Government could save hundreds of millions of pounds without having to cut us back year after year.”

Deputy Chief Constable of the force, Heather Roach attended the Police and Crime Panel Meeting and also welcomed the agreement to raise the precept.

She said: “Although the rise is quite small it goes some way towards funding the commitment of the Police and Crime Commissioner to maintain 1,100 frontline officers and 149 PCSOs.”

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