Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing to put forward a modest increase in the policing part of council tax to protect the front line, after the Cambridgeshire force received £1.2m less than expected in police grant for 2014/15.
The 7p per week increase would mean that the frontline continues to be protected.
Significant savings had been made to balance the 2014/15 budget, but yesterday’s grant settlement announcement revealed that forces, including Cambridgeshire, had been ‘top sliced’ to fund national initiatives.
Sir Graham said: “We already have one of the lowest cost and most productive police workforces in the country with the highest percentage of officers on frontline duties.
“Despite having already made savings of £4.9m within the current year, we have managed to increase the number of police officers working on local policing from 988.5 at the start of the year to 998 at the start of this coming year.
“I’ve been listening to what the public have told me. They want to see officers out and about in their communities, keeping them safe. Protecting the frontline is priority for me and I have always said that.
“I needed to listen to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of police visibility with affordability of tax increases. My budget is on the basis that I have listened to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of feet on the street with affordability of tax increases.”
If accepted, the precept will nominally provide a £131.5m budget for policing in 2014/15.
This will allow Sir Graham to continue to deliver against his pledges as set out in the Police and Crime Plan.