Survey goes online to ask for views on increase in policing costs

Olly Martins
Olly Martins

A short survey seeking peoples’ views about a proposed increase in what they pay towards policing in Bedfordshire is now online.

Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins is consulting the public about what they think about his plans to raise funds for 100 extra police officers. He is hoping that a huge number of residents will complete his online survey so that he can gauge public support.

He is proposing a precept increase of 15.8% – equivalent to 48p a week extra for an average council tax Band D household or 32p a week if you live in a Band A property. This would pay for 100 more police officers, enabling police constables to return to neighbourhood policing teams. However, Government rules say an increase of this amount can only happen if supported by the public in a referendum.

He said: “Before I put finalise my budget and present my plans to the Police and Crime Panel, it is really is vital that I know the public’s views.

“If the public are supportive, this increase would not only pay for an extra 100 police officers but it would mean that our police strength would not need to be cut until 2021, by which time I would reasonably expect that we would have seen changes to the way we are funded.

“Like me, residents constantly say they want to see more officers on the streets. This is our chance to help achieve that despite the continuing underfunding by the Government.”

He asks people to go to http://www.bedspcc.org to complete the survey. “What they tell me, and whatever the outcome, their views are pivotal in helping to determine the way forward,” he said.