Police costs set to rise by as much as five per cent

 

The amount paid by households towards the cost of policing looks set to rise by up to five per cent this year as the Government faces a potential show down with its flagship Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who are demanding above inflation increases in council tax to combat swingeing budget cuts.

Yesterday Greater Manchester Police became the latest major force to signal it would be seeking a rise in bills which it said would fund the equivalent of 100 community support officers.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd warned that without the anticipated £5 rise (the equivalent of three per cent) on annual bills for band D homes, the force – the third largest in England - was “standing on the edge of a cliff” as it faces £100m in cuts having already lost a quarter of its budget.

All but four of the 41 directly elected police and crime commissioners are seeking extra cash from local people already struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis as they seek to combat steep falls in the amount of money made available from Whitehall.

But despite being required by law to set a new budget one senior PCC they are in the “ridiculous situation” of having yet to be told by ministers how much extra money they can raise without triggering a referendum under the Localism Act.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis again urged voters to veto excessive rises in council tax describing those that sought more money as “democracy dodgers”.

He said: “Local referendums could be held this year on the same day as the European elections at minimal cost and inconvenience. If they aren't going to freeze council tax, local authorities should trust the people and let taxpayers' decide.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who oversees the Metropolitan Police budget, is among those ordering a freeze on annual increases through the council tax although he has yet to finalise the budget for the capital which does not have a PCC.

Mr Lloyd said Government cuts were “endangering public safety” and that 1,100 officers had been shed in Greater Manchester since 2010. He added: “The Chief Constable has told me that he cannot provide the levels of policing that Greater Manchester people expect and deserve if this programme of cuts goes beyond 2017. There simply will not be enough money in the pot.”

West Midlands PCC Bob Jones is seeking a three per cent increase whilst Alun Michael in South Wales has won approval for an additional five per cent although he answers to the Labour-run Welsh Assembly.

The contribution paid towards policing through local taxation is around a quarter of the overall funding in England and wales. It appears on the household’s annual bill alongside the amount required to fund the council and fire and rescue services. Figures can vary dramatically. The average amount paid towards policing is £170 a year. The lowest is around £100 whilst others levy twice as much, with Londoners paying £216 in 2013/14.

The commissioners must discuss their plans with their local crime panels before gaining Government approval. Councils, which cannot raise council tax by more than two per cent without triggering a referendum, fear the electoral fall out from any increases in annual bills will result in voters punishing politicians.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own