Have your say on the 2019/20 police budget (3 Jan 2019)

Communities are being urged to have their say on the 2019/20 policing budget for West Yorkshire.

Over 350 responses have so far been received from the online survey alone, with additional feedback expected from further postal surveys.

Just under two weeks remain before the public consultation finally closes at 5pm on 16th January 2019.

It asks people how they would like to see money raised for the police part of the local council tax, called the 'precept'.

This follows the Government annual funding settlement announcement for policing in December, which has given PCCs flexibility to raise their precept by up to £24 on a Band D for 2019/20.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"It's important that I get a real sense of public opinion when it comes to setting the police budget and that everyone understands the context in which it is being determined.

"This time around, I am left with very little room for manoeuvre, as the Government have made it perfectly clear that they expect PCCs to increase the precept to the maximum possible amount if there is to be any additional investment in re-building frontline policing.

"With West Yorkshire experiencing Government budget cuts of over £140m since 2010 (approx 2000 Police jobs) there are few other options on the table to manage the increasing rates of demand that often goes hand in hand with ever more complex investigations.

"The money coming from central Government, recently announced in the annual funding settlement, does not however, even cater for half of what is required nationally and is subsequently transferring the deficit back onto PCCs and local people to meet the shortfall.

"In West Yorkshire it means Police council tax increasing by £24 a year or just under 50p a week for a band 'D' council taxpayer, although in reality most people would pay less on average, with the majority being in bands A to C. Click here to check the tax band of your home.

"Albeit, it is certainly not an ideal situation, it still means local households in West Yorkshire would be paying less than neighbouring force areas, as we have the 3rd lowest policing precept in England and Wales.

"I know, for instance, from my regular interactions across our communities that people remain passionate about the need for Neighbourhood and Frontline Policing services with increased officer numbers.

"By completing this quick survey you will be helping me to shape a budget that will respond to some of the areas of greatest threat, such as Violent Crime, Human Trafficking, Cyber Crime, Sexual Exploitation and safeguarding vulnerable people.

"It only takes minutes to read and fill in, but I would really value your feedback as I look to prepare the final proposals that will determine the level of investment for West Yorkshire Police in 2019/20 and beyond."

Take part by clicking on the online survey. A limited postal survey has also been distributed, as part of the regular planned 'Your Views' correspondence.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019