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Have your say on an increase to council tax across the Thames Valley

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has launched a survey seeking views on a proposed increase to the policing element of council tax for 2021/22.

The Home Office has recently announced the provisional police funding settlement for 2021/22. In response to the exceptional operational demands placed on the police, particularly in response to the global pandemic, the Government is increasing funding available to PCCs by up to £703 million. This is provided all PCCs increase their council tax for a Band D household by £1.25 a month*, or £15 a year in 2021/22 which, collectively, will raise £287 million, or 40% of the £703 million increase in funding. This new settlement will mean that the Force is better placed to tackle the challenges facing communities in the Thames Valley.

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “The Government is encouraging all Police and Crime Commissioners to raise the policing element of the council tax precept for all households. The Government is providing additional funding for the second phase of the national Police Uplift Programme, which will enable Thames Valley Police to recruit an additional 179 police officers next year, which is over and above the 183 we have been funded for this year.

“Despite the increase in funding from government, there continue to be cost pressures on the Force and the public rightly expect to see improving performance in order to keep us all safe and bring criminals to justice. Alongside the funding from the Home Office, the Government has also allowed Police and Crime Commissioners to increase council tax by up to £15 (for a Band D property) in order to make additional investments in policing. In Thames Valley that means that for less than 29p a week for the average household (Band D property) more than £13m could be invested in frontline policing.

“In previous years the support of local tax payers through their council tax has meant that we have managed to reduce the time it takes for the police to answer non-urgent 101 calls and to significantly increase detection rates, meaning that more victims of crime receive justice and more criminals are held to account.

“It is important that any increase in council tax now, at a time when many families are struggling, is focussed on frontline policing to tackle the concerns of the public. I am proud of the work done by Thames Valley Police Officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers every single day, but there is always more that can be done.

“In close consultation with the Chief Constable, I want to see further improvements in the effectiveness and visibility of the Force by investing in the following areas:

  • Boosting visible neighbourhood policing by recruiting more PCSOs in addition to the extra police officers being funded by the Government
  • Creating a Rural Crime Taskforce in order to increase visibility, enforcement and prosecution across Thames Valley’s large number of rural communities.
  • Continuing to tackle the challenge of county lines drugs gangs by increasing the resources available to the Force to tackle the scourge of drugs on our streets.
  • Improving the response to fraud and cyber crime
  • Continuing to improve the fight against domestic abuse to protect more families from harm
  • New equipment and technology to optimise the benefit of the additional police officers

“Final decisions on council tax and budget priorities will be made in February and by contributing your views now you can help play your part in shaping how Thames Valley Police continues to improve and tackle crime across our community.”

The survey can be completed at https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90305410/Council-Tax-Survey-2021-22. The survey is open until 5pm on Wednesday 20th January 2021.

ENDS

Notes to editors

*Proposed increases for other council tax bands can be found below

Band

Current Police share of council tax in 2020/21

Proposed council tax 2021/22

Proposed monthly increase

A

£144.19

£154.19

£0.83

B

£168.22

£179.88

£0.97

C

£192.25

£205.58

£1.11

D

£216.28

£231.28

£1.25

E

£264.34

£282.68

£1.53

F

£312.40

£334.07

£1.81

G

£360.47

£385.47

£2.08

H

£432.56

£462.56

£2.50