30p council tax rise could give us 70 extra police officers
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk's police and crime commissioner has said a 30p per week increase in council tax could allow the force to recruit up to 70 new officers.
Tim Passmore has proposed raising the policing precept for Band D properties by £15 a year, arguing the funds would enhance police visibility, improve communications and increase Suffolk Constabulary's capacity.
If the plans are approved, the extra funding will see in the region of 70 additional police officers recruited in the next financial year, including those promised by the government as part of its 20,000 officer recruitment drive.
Mr Passmore is urging Suffolk to residents to provide feedback on the "difficult" proposal in a survey on the police and crime commissioner's website.
He said: "As your police and crime commissioner, setting the budget is one of my most important responsibilities.
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"I must ensure that the Chief Constable has the resources he needs to provide an effective service, whilst ensuring that I use Suffolk taxpayers’ money efficiently.
"I believe my proposals for the precept address some of the major concerns the public raise with me, such as making it easier for the public to contact Suffolk police and fraud prevention. It also ensures the Constabulary is equipped to meet the challenges it faces.
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"I have worked closely with the Chief Constable to agree how the potential funding will be allocated.
"It is a difficult balance but one that I believe meets the needs of the council taxpayer. I hope people will take the opportunity to respond to the survey and let me know their thoughts."
Steve Jupp, Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “The Constabulary has worked very hard to ensure previous precept investments have been used wisely and are making a real difference across the county.
"Suffolk is continuing to grow and develop and we must keep pace to ensure the Constabulary is equipped to deal with new emerging challenges that meets the needs of all our communities.
“The Constabulary needs to continue to focus on improving investigations, protecting vulnerable people and provide better public contact and communications.
"This investment is essential to ensure Suffolk Constabulary continues to deliver a high-quality service, catches criminals and keeps the public safe."