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Have your say on police funding in Cambridgeshire with proposed rise in council tax of £2 a month

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Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite is asking members of the public to tell him how much they are willing to support policing in a short survey launched today (Tuesday).

Have your say on police funding in Cambridgeshire. (6383318)
Have your say on police funding in Cambridgeshire. (6383318)

The Commissioner is inviting people to complete a short survey to tell him how much they are willing to contribute as part of their council tax for the coming year (2019/20).

The move follows a similar exercise last year which saw the police portion of the council tax rise by £12 - up from £186.75 to £198.72.

Now Mr Ablewhite is looking for at least £2 a month or £24 a year more, which he claims is needed to ensure that Cambridgeshire Constabulary has the resources it needs to keep people safe. But the survey also includes an option for a £10 a month rise, which he claims would see 350 more officers and bring the county force's funding in line with the national average.

Mr Ablewhite said: “Chief Constable, Nick Dean and I have been working hard to ensure our Force is as efficient and effective as it can be. Last year, we introduced a new structure for local policing which brought an additional 50 officers to the front line. And, as a result of last year’s increase in the policing part of the council tax, a further 55 officers were also recruited and are now in training.

“Whilst those additional officers are very welcome, there are some harsh policing realities that we face. Demand on policing is growing. Cambridgeshire is a safe county, but police now spend more time tackling ‘hidden crimes’ such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and modern day slavery. They also spend time working with partners to tackle vulnerability where there is a risk to an individual or members of the public.

“Our police force is still one of the lowest funded forces in the country and one of the most efficient costing 42p per person per day against a national average of 51p (per person per day). Cambridgeshire’s population is forecast to grow by 20 per cent by 2031 but with government funding not currently linked to population growth, this is something we continue to press for change.

“We will continue to identify further efficiency savings, however in order to meet future demand, I propose to increase the policing part of the council tax by £2 per month per household (based on a Band D property).

"This equates to 50p per week or £24 per year. I would be grateful if you could spare a minute to complete a short survey. Your views will then help inform my final decision on how much to raise the policing part of the council tax.”

A link to the survey, which runs until January 28 can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RHJL6KW

Views can also be given by telephone: 0300 333 3456 or by email: cambs-pcc@cambs.pnn.police.uk.

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