Leicestershire police chief proposes rise in council tax

Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader EMN-151231-101805001
Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader EMN-151231-101805001

Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader is proposing to put the amount the county’s households pay for policing up by just under two per cent this year.

Sir Clive Loader will present his 2016-17 budget plans to the Police and Crime Panel on February 2 and says the proposed increase has the backing of the majority of the public.

He said: “This year the police grant was better than we expected which, in addition to the savings already delivered, places the force in a somewhat healthier financial position than some. However, we must build on this platform, increasing resilience and boosting service delivery in areas such as child sexual exploitation, cyber-crime, domestic abuse, hate crime, sexual offences and, of course, the work to counteract extremism and terrorism.

“Importantly, local residents made it clear to me that they are in favour of an increase in the amount they pay towards policing and naturally I have taken their views into account in my deliberations. There is no point in consulting people if you are not going to listen.

“That’s why I’m pleased that this, my final budget, allows for growth in areas that I know are of most concern to people. It will enable the permanent addition of 38 Police Officers to support the protection of the most vulnerable members of our communities and the full establishment of 251 PCSOs to be sustained beyond March 2017 in support of our neighbourhood policing teams.

“In addition, I have highlighted plans for investment in areas such as automatic number-plate recognition - which is so effective when it comes to denying criminals the use of our roads. I have also asked the Chief Constable to build capacity and resilience in the Professional Standards Department in order to speed up the complaints process.

“I will elaborate on the benefits of this budget to the panel, when I will propose that members support an increase of 1.99% in the amount of council tax paid towards policing. Moreover, not only is this in line with public feedback, but it is clearly anticipated by the Chancellor and the Home Secretary.”

The proposed rise of 1.99 per cent will see the amount a Band D property pays for its policing rise by £3.58 to £183.58.

Sir Clive had asked residents if they were willing to pay more towards the cost of policing when considering this year’s budget, and more than 70 per cent said they were willing to pay up to a further 2%.