Northants commissioner wants council tax rise to fund policing

Northamptonshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner wants a £10 a year council tax increase

Northamptonshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold will ask for a £10 a year increase in council tax to fund policing.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mould is asking for an extra 10 a year on council tax

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mould is asking for an extra 10 a year on council tax

Mr Mold will make the request at a police and crime panel meeting on Tuesday, February 4.

The extra money would be added to the policing precept, the part of council tax that goes towards policing in Northamptonshire.

The rise would work out to an extra 20p a week and it would be for band D households.

In a consultation on the council tax precept carried out for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, 71% of people said that they would pay more towards policing in the county.

Mr Mold said: "People have told me very clearly that they want to see more police and a focus on crime and they are prepared to invest more to support that.

"In asking for this increase, I am very aware that local taxpayers have contributed more to policing locally but I have had to balance my reluctance to ask for more money with the need to provide the force with the resources to keep the county safe."

Money from the government will give Northamptonshire 57 extra officers but this funding was granted on the expectation that Commissions would increase the council tax precept by £10 for a band D household.

Stephen Mold has been working to recruit 83 extra officers since April 2019, which will take the number of officers back to 2010 levels.

He says this increase in council tax will make the costs of extra officers more affordable for the force and he hopes extra investment can reduce the demand on the police force.

Mr Mold said: "Over the coming months, we won’t just be increasing police numbers and focusing on deterring and detecting crime, we will be looking at ways to reduce demand in the first place.

"This is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, projected to grow by more than 60,000 people by 2023, so however many more police officers we recruit and however much extra council tax revenue this brings in, demand will continue to outstrip supply.

"I will be investing more in commissioning schemes to prevent crime and stop people re-offending, to turn off the tap and bring down demand for policing services."

Last year's council tax increase helped to support operations to tackle burglary and drug dealing.

If the increase is agreed, band D households will be contributing £255.04 in 2020/21.

The overall budget for Northamptonshire Police comes from local funds and grants from central government and will be almost £174m in 2020/21.