Police approve rise in budget
FOR the fourth year running the Herts Police Authority has kept its Council Tax increase below 5 per cent. Police authority chairman Ian Laidlaw-Dickson said: We have managed to give the constabulary the resources it needs to continue to provide high q
FOR the fourth year running the Herts Police Authority has kept its Council Tax increase below 5 per cent.
Police authority chairman Ian Laidlaw-Dickson said: "We have managed to give the constabulary the resources it needs to continue to provide high quality policing across the county, while keeping the level of council tax increase to 4.99 per cent."
And he continued: "In a recent independent survey, residents told us that they supported increases in council tax to pay for greater investment in policing."
The decision comes in the wake of a below inflation grant from the Government, although Herts police staff numbers are now at their highest ever levels, including 2,148 police officers and 252 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
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The increase this year will means someone living in a Band D property will pay an extra £6.50 a year for policing.
The increase has been set at a level that avoids any risk of the Government capping the Authority by requiring it to set a lower rate.
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Mr Laidlaw-Dickson added: "A number of police authorities have decided to breach the Government's capping levels, but because the authority and the force continue to effectively manage our resources, a larger increase is not necessary this year."
To keep Council Tax as low as possible, the police authority has decided to make some use of its reserves to meet the funding gap between Government grants and budget requirements this year.
Chief Constable Frank Whiteley said: "This budget will provide us with a solid platform to build on, continue to improve services and continue our commitment to neighborhood policing.
"We will build our capability to tackle cross-border and organised crime, particularly by taking forward collaboration work with Bedfordshire and other forces.
"It is a budget which will allow us to continue to make Hertfordshire safer," he said.