Harborough households facing tax rise to pay for more police officers

Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach
Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach

Extra police officers will be funded by a 12 per cent rise in Leciestershire Police’s share of the council tax.

Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has put forward a budget for the 2019-2020 financial year with a 12 per cent rise in the amount it will charge residents.

The extra money will fund extra police officers. The budget expects that 80 will be recruited in the 2019-20 financial year, with the remaining 27 coming on board in 2020-21.

Of the new officers 60 will be patrol officers based in the eight neighbourhood police areas. There will also be 24 new detectives, eight new beat officers placed in the proactive teams dealing with current and emerging issues, eight new officers will tackle emerging crime on a proactive basis, and seven new officers will focus on the crime that impacts upon the most vulnerable.

Lord Bach said: “People want to see more police in communities and this budget will enable us to recruit 107 extra officers.

“I’m delighted that we are at last in a position to see real growth in officer numbers, but I should be clear that this is only happening due to an increase in the police portion of the council tax and a hefty chunk from our reserves.

“It is hugely disappointing that the Government expects local people to pay more towards policing but if I am to increase officer numbers I have no option but to raise the police precept.

“Local people are now paying the price for years of austerity, but PCCs have been left with no alternative. Even this will not solve all the financial challenges.

“Of every additional £24 raised, £14 will be used to pay for rising costs and overheads, leaving just £10 to invest in new resources

“To protect our plans in the future I have agreed to use money from our reserves over the next four years.”

If approved, the budget will see the average Band D home pay an extra £24 a year for policing.