North Wales Police and Crime Panel members approved the 4.5% rise in police precept
A police authority has rubber-stamped a rise in its council tax revenue after revealing it had already started recruiting 62 new officers.
North Wales Police and Crime Panel members approved the 4.5% rise in police precept at a meeting in Conwy county council’s headquarters on Friday.
It means an extra £12.51 per year, equivalent to a little more than 24p per week for a band D council tax payer.
A presentation on the force’s finances revealed it had received the same amount of grant as 2019-2020 from the UK Government.
However it also revealed it received and extra £6.8m in central government funding under Operation Uplift to recruit 62 new police officers.
Deputy chief constable Richard Debicki said they had already started training the first tranche of new recruits.
He said: “Those new recruits are already planned in over the next 12 months. We have already taken on 18 who are in training at the moment and the other 44 will be recruited June and July.”
It emerged 23 officers will got to local policing and 34 into “crime services” such as the protecting vulnerable persons unit and major crime teams. The new economic crime unit will comprise five officers with the remaining five recruits filling support roles.
The force is also recruiting direct entry officers through a not-for profit training company established by the UK Government called Police Now. It trains graduates with no police experience to become detectives.
The commissioner said he would use some of the extra cash generated by the council tax precept to target fraudsters with the creation of a new economic crime unit.
He said there had been 4,671 financial crimes up to March 2019. That represented a 17% increase year-on-year. Losses to victims totalled £8.9m – an increase of 24% from the previous year.
By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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