I have, yesterday, begun a public consultation on my draft Police and Crime Plan for 2017 – 2020, and the cost of policing in 2017 – 18.
Since I was re-elected last year I have been reviewing the priorities and thinking about the big issues that the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon are facing.
I am proposing that the four priorities for 2017 – 2020 will be to:
· Prevent crime and keep people safe
· Protect the most vulnerable in society
· Put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do
· Secure a trusted, quality and efficient police service
My draft plan is available to read in full on my website (www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk).
I am also considering an increase of 1.9 per cent to the policing part of council tax, known as the precept. This amounts to an increase of £3.17 per year or 6p per week for the average home (Band D property). At present, band D homes pay £167.10 a year.
Out of the 43 forces in England and Wales, only two receive less funding per head of population than Wiltshire, and I have been lobbying the Home Office for fairer funding for our county.
The police grant settlement that we received from the Home Office in December showed a £814,000 reduction in central funding. The proposed £3.17 a year increase to the precept would provide an additional £792,000 of local income for 2017-18.
This would help to cover rising costs, including the nationally agreed pay award and new costs such as the Apprenticeship levy, and price inflation. However, even with this rise, we will still have to make savings in the order of £2.5m in 2017-18 to balance the books.
The money raised from the precept will help me to maintain community policing, a service greatly valued by people in Wiltshire and Swindon.
The consultation on my draft plan and proposal to increase the precept by 1.9 per cent is now open and runs until Friday 27 January 2017.
I have approached every Area Board and Locality that are meeting during this period and asked for the opportunity to share a video about my proposed priorities and increase to the precept.
A copy of this video is available on my website (www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk) along with further information.
I would encourage you to give your feedback on these proposals and to promote this consultation amongst your community. Feedback can be given through my website or by following this link: http://www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk/Transparency/Plan-and-Precept-consultation-2017.aspx
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Telephone Number (External): 01380 734 022
Telephone Number (Internal): 720 2293
Fax Number: 01380 734025