Police precept hike willfund more armed officers

Date: Friday 16th February 2018

THE police share of council tax bills in Cumbria is going to rise by 5.4 per cent from April.

This will add £11.97 to the bill for the average band D household which will now have to pay £232.74 for the proportion of council tax which funds Cumbria police. Parish councils, Eden District Council and the county council all set an annual rate and take a share from council tax bills.

At a meeting in Penrith on Wednesday, Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner Peter McCall agreed the police budget for the 2018-19 financial year.

He said it followed extensive public consultation, feedback from the chief constable Jerry Graham and the unanimous support of the police and crime panel, the cross-party committee which holds the crime commissioner to account.

Mr McCall said: “Any increase in council tax is never welcome but I firmly believe that public safety is paramount. Therefore, I would like to thank the public of Cumbria for their clear message of support to increase the policing part of the council tax.

“I said when I launched the public consultation that I believe that if they are to pay more, it is only fair to ensure that the police deliver an improved service in return.” He said the increased council tax would contribute to a range of initiatives, not least the funding of 25 additional police officers, maintaining 95 police community support officers, an increase in the number of armed officers available and improved protection of children online, as well as easier and better ways to contact the police.

He said: “This will be a real boost to frontline policing, addressing local concerns such as antisocial behaviour and at the same time meeting the emerging pressures rising demand such as online crime. I remain determined to ensure that Cumbria continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit and this budget allows us to resource and support our police.”

Chief Constable Jerry Graham said: “I am pleased that the police budget has now been set for the next financial year, and I welcome the increase to the policing element of the council tax. This provides some stability for policing in the county and helps us protect and enhance frontline policing in order to keep people safe.

“We will continue to seek ways we can increase our efficiency in order to protect the people of Cumbria and provide the best possible policing service.”