Communities are being urged to have their say on the 2021/22 policing budget for West Yorkshire
23rd December 2020
An online survey on the budget consultation has been launched and people are being encouraged to go online and share their views - www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Police2021.
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 the flexibility to raise their precept by up to £15 a year (or 29 pence per week) on a Band D for 2021/22, with over 70% of properties in West Yorkshire falling within Bands A, B and C meaning on average it would be less at around £10 per year extra.
If the policing part of the council tax is not adequately increased, West Yorkshire Police would have to make more significant savings which would result in a reduction of police services.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson said:
“We know the nationwide Covid lockdown restrictions have had a severe economic impact and the Government’s recent Spending Review announcement did not guarantee that enough funding will be provided to support the real cost of policing here in West Yorkshire, an area which has seen its budget for policing cut severely by around 30% since 2010.
“I have been working hard with the public, West Yorkshire Police and partners to start to rebuild those numbers of police officers and staff working in our communities that were lost, but I want to continue to do all that I can to make sure communities are safe and feel safe and not see that trend reversed.
“That also includes investing in new communications technology that will help the police respond quickly, more resources for digital forensic services to speed-up investigations and providing better outcomes for victims. I also want to invest in more trauma and well-being support services for police officers and staff on the frontline.
“West Yorkshire is an area which has been particularly badly affected by Covid throughout 2020, but by increasing the police precept I can provide extra resources to support the recruitment of more police officers for our neighbourhoods, keeping us all safe, and to better help protect the numbers of police staff as far as possible who carry out and support vital police work every day.
"2020 has been one of the most challenging years in living memory and every aspect of our day to day lives has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. During these difficult times we have had to very much rely on key workers, like those in the NHS and West Yorkshire Police, more than ever to keep our communities safe.
“I am very aware that these are hugely challenging times for us all, so before I make any recommendations on the local police budget I would like to know what you think.
"It only takes a few 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 2021/22 and beyond.
“Please give me your views on the level of police precept for 2021/22 by completing the survey online at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Police2021.”
The consultation will run until 5pm on the 15th January 2021.
How I am making sure people can have their say on this survey?
- The survey is being advertised on my website and social media channels. And Community Alerts that reaches over 12,000 people.
- A press release has been issued to local media.
- All my partner organisations to assist in reaching as many people as possible.
- Anyone can have their say online.
If anyone would like the survey in a different format they can contact my office on 01924 294000 or email [email protected]