Police tax bill for households in Suffolk set to rise 4.2%

The number of assaults peaked at 462 the year before – having almost doubled from 275 in 2014/15

The Suffolk Constabulary part of the council tax bill will rise 4.2% this year - Credit: Archant

Families facing growing cost of living pressures will have to pay a 4.2% increase in the policing element of the council tax bill from April.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Panel voted nine to one for the council tax rise, which will mean a Band D home will pay an extra £10 for the year. Band B homes, the most common in Suffolk, will pay an extra £7.77.

The proposal will generate an extra £2.5million for the police force in 2022/23.

Conservative police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore confirmed that £1m will fund existing costs, with £1.4m funding an upgrade to the control room to address 101 response times.

Mr Passmore said he was conscious the rise could be tough for cash-strapped families already facing cost-of-living pressures, but stressed the increase was vital for the service to function as needed.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, urged people to act responsibly

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

He said: “I do absolutely understand a lot of people are feeling the pressure because of the pandemic, and it is difficult for many people. That is why this is a particularly difficult, painful decision for me this year.

“I absolutely believe this is what we have to do to make sure Suffolk Constabulary can go from strength to strength with all the additional complexities and change to the pattern of crime.

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“In all my public engagement, including the recent consultation on my new Police and Crime Plan, the one thing that comes through loud and clear is the public’s dissatisfaction in the 101 service. It is absolutely crucial I address these concerns.”

Previous projections assumed a 2% increase would be needed this year, but a survey of 1,166 respondents found 62% were in favour of the 4.2% proposal.

Councillor Peter Beer, who voted against the level in precept rise said that Suffolk taxpayers were going to be “hit from all angles” with cost of living pressures and it was “a tax increase too much”.

The meeting heard that the force had been generating savings, including certain joint working programmes with Norfolk officers that were saving £20m.

The total council tax bill also comprises county, district and parish or town council elements, with those authorities set to decide their levels in the next month.