Support for council tax increase will see an additional £2.4m towards visible policing and protecting communities
An additional 67 new police officers will be hired as part of the budget proposed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
The plans include deploying a dozen new Community Beat Managers to increase visible policing and help protect communities.
In addition the budget sets out plans to enhance the cutting edge crime fighting capabilities of Lincolnshire Police by expanding the Digital Forensics Team and investing in new systems to identify criminals faster.
All the investments have been set out in PCC Marc Jones’ precept proposal which involves a 3.75% uplift in Council Tax – a rise of between just 13p and 17p a week for the large majority of tax payers.
The increase will add an additional £2.4m to the overall funding of £146.5m available – an increase of 4.6% on last year’s overall budget. The full proposal includes:
- Increase the number of Community Beat Managers by 12 - further increasing visible policing and protection for our communities.
- Provide additional cutting-edge crime fighting capability by expanding the Digital Forensics Team and investing in the latest systems to identify criminals faster than ever before.
- Provide resources to work in partnership to deliver the new Lincolnshire Drug Strategy – tackling drug dealing and supply whilst supporting those targeted by the illegal trade in drugs to save life and keep our communities safe.
- Boost the Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit to further protect the most vulnerable children and adults from sexual violence and abuse and help deliver the justice they deserve.
- Invest in greater and more effective partnership working in Integrated Offender Management to reduce reoffending and reduce the numbers of victims.
The PCC’s recent residents’ survey, completed just before Christmas, showed overwhelming support from the public for increasing investment in policing.
Of the 3,000 plus people surveyed 75% said they were prepared to pay at least five per cent more in Council Tax to support policing in their communities – higher than the proposed uplift.
Mr Jones will also set out a three-year plan to cap Council Tax increases to just 3.75% for the next financial year dropping to 3.62% and 3.49% in the following two years when his proposal goes before the Police and Crime Panel on February 4th.
“Personally, I have been sceptical of asking residents for an increase in Council Tax at a time when communities have struggled to cope with the Covid pandemic and its economic impact,” said Mr Jones.
“Nevertheless, I simply cannot ignore the very clear directive sent by the public in this year’s survey. They have made it clear they want to see continued investment in the policing services that protect their families, homes, community and way of life and are prepared to, in part, fund this through their Council Tax contributions. Even though most will be asked to pay as little as 13-19p a week more I do not for a second underestimate the difficulties our communities face in their personal budgets.
“I will be tireless in my commitment to ensure their money delivers real and lasting value in the service they can expect across our county with the delivery of a modern, effective and efficient policing service – keeping them safe and driving criminal behaviour from our streets and communities.”