Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has launched a consultation over a proposed £10 a year council tax rise to help pay for policing in Bedfordshire.
He wants to raise the police per cent - the slice of council tax Bedfordshire residents pay to help cover the cost of policing, community safety and victim services through their annual bill.
PCC Festus Akinbusoye said: “Part of being your Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire means that I am responsible for securing the annual budget for Bedfordshire Police.
"In 2021/22, the budget was made up of 61 per cent from Government grant money and 39 per cent from the police precept part of your council tax.
“I also determine the local policing priorities for the Chief Constable based on listening to what residents tell me. These priorities are set out in my Police and Crime Plan, and I hold the Chief to account, on your behalf, for their successful delivery."
He added: “We are facing rising costs across the public sector because of inflation. This means that next year an increase in the precept will be needed just for Bedfordshire Police to maintain its current position and meet the costs of pay and price increases.
“I know that any increase next year for some people will be hard. I also know, because you have told me, that you want to see more officers in our communities and our rural areas, taking more criminals off the streets and protecting our towns and villages. To do this, as well as maintaining other services, we will need to increase the precept”.
Bedfordshire Police remains one of the lowest funded forces in the country.
The Government has said that PCCs can raise the precept by up to £10 a year for an average (band D) home - a rise of just under three pence per day.
This would help to:
Recruit an extra 72 Police Officers
Improve the way 999 and 101 calls are answered
Continue to prioritise drug-related serious organised crime to dismantle county lines
Increase rural crime capability to protect our villages and farms from criminals who target rural communities
Invest in the Professional Standards Department to root out and deal swiftly with any corrupt behaviour within the Force
Increase our victim engagement officers to support victims of rape, serious sexual offences and domestic abuse
Invest in the sustainability agenda including the use of low and zero-emission vehicles, and alternative forms of energy.
You can complete the survey online.
If you’d like to get in touch with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner about how the Bedfordshire Police budget will be set for 2022/23, please email [email protected]