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Pay more for policing or risk losing 70 officers in Nottinghamshire over the next few years

todayFebruary 8, 2022

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Residents in Nottinghamshire are facing an increase in the amount they pay annually towards policing in the county and without it police officers could be axed.

A meeting of the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Panel approved the additional precept, as it is known, which would mean an extra £6.66 a year for a Band A property, taking it up to £169.50, and £9.99 for a Band D property, making it £254.25 a year.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who had to speak to the meeting virtually as she is isolating with Covid, sets the budget for Nottinghamshire Police and identifies its local priorities. Daily operational control lies with the chief constable, Craig Guildford.

The meeting was an opportunity for Ms Henry to introduce her first police and crime plan, Make Notts Safe, to the panel, which shows how money will be spent on policing up to 2025.

She said that the extra money would help towards implementing the plan which included 45 additional police officers across a range of issues such as knife crime, modern slavery, violence against women and girls and neighbourhood uniformed police officers.

She is also planning “a ring of steel” around the county through a bigger network of cameras, which automatically track car number plates, together with 11 extra police vehicles to help with enforcement.

Other items in the plan include more education, support and preventive services and a proposal for tackling rural crime.

Ms Henry said: “It is my vision that by the end of my term in office there will be fewer victims, greater trust and confidence in the police and criminal justice system and a stronger and more resilient network of services supporting victims to recover from harm.

“My plan, therefore, centres on three simple objectives: preventing crime and protecting people from harm; responding efficiently and effectively to community needs and supporting victims and survivors, witnesses and communities.

“This year’s increase is less than last year when it was £14.94 for a Band D property.

“without the increase we cannot do these things.”

A number of panel members said they were uncomfortable with increasing the cost of policing and asked what would happen if there was no increase in the coming year?

Mark Kimberley, head of finance with Nottinghamshire police, explained that savings and efficiencies totalling £3.4 million had already been saved, mainly through a reduction in administration and back office roles.

He said: “Saving money in this way will ensure that it is spent on the front line instead.

“If there was no increase in the precept then it would mean a real terms reduction in income over the next five years, which would make the force, using a rough calculation, £22 million worse off.

“This would mean next year the loss of 35 police officers and the same again the following year. No increase would have a significant impact.

“We can increase the precept by up to £10 but the system does not allow us to charge £8 one year and then £12 the following year, which is a flaw.”

Nottinghamshire police will receive £247.7 million to run its services, through Government funding, grants and council tax, this coming financial year – with the increase.

The police precept is in addition to a proposed 4% increase planned by Nottinghamshire County Council and the fire authority precept still needs to be added in and residents will receive a bill containing all three elements plus an district or parish precepts they need to pay depending on where people live.

The final approval for council tax, fire and police precepts is expected at a full meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council on February 24.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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