North Wales residents to pay £16 a year more for policing in ‘lower than inflation’ rate increase
North Wales’ police and crime commissioner is asking council tax payers to stump up an extra 5.14% on the police precept from April.
This equates to 31p per week – or £16.29 annually – for households in the forthcoming financial year, 2023-24.
The proposal will be presented to the Police and Crime Panel at a meeting on January 30th, which will be live-streamed on Conwy County Borough Council’s website.
According to Mr. Dunbobbin, the decision to ask for this increase follows a consultation and survey that took place with the people of North Wales over a period of nearly six weeks from December 5th to January 11th, which received over 1,000 responses.
The survey was available both online and in hard copy, and was advertised on radio, public transport, and social media. Additionally, surveys were made available at libraries, leisure centers, and distributed via community networks and organizations across the region.
Mr. Dunbobbin stated that the survey results revealed that many people in North Wales are feeling pressure from the cost-of-living crisis.
However, he also noted that the survey results also showed that people want to see the police service be as efficient, effective, and visible as possible in the way it operates.
He added that visibility is vital to communities, as people want to feel safe and secure.
Additionally, people want to see an emphasis on rural and wildlife crime, preventing domestic abuse, protecting children and young people, and safeguarding vulnerable members of society.
Lastly, people want to see the police address the root causes of offending and support rehabilitation of offenders.
The Chief Constable, Amanda Blakeman, also commented on the proposed increase, stating that she recognises that these are challenging times and that the cost of living crisis continues to be an issue.
She reassured people that if the precept is accepted by the Police and Crime Panel, they will invest the money to benefit people and communities across the whole of North Wales.
One of the top priorities, in line with the survey results, is to improve visibility out and about amongst local communities.
An increase in PCSO numbers would help achieve this.
Investment would also be made in areas to ensure the best outcome for victims and in other key sections such as forensics and scientific support, which are both such important services to many aspects of policing especially in helping to bring offenders to justice.
Andy Dunbobbin, said:: “Following consultation with the public, I have taken the decision to recommend an increase in the policing precept of 5.14% for the coming financial year.”
“I did not take this decision lightly, as it is clear to me from responses to the consultation that many of us are feeling pressure from the cost-of-living crisis.”
“Over 1,000 people took part in the survey, which was the largest number for several years and shows the depth of feeling people have regarding funding for North Wales Police.”
“All views were taken into account and are finely balanced against the need to provide sufficient funding – and the best value for money – in keeping the people of North Wales safe.”
The final decision on the increase in the precept now lies with the North Wales Police and Crime Panel at a meeting on January 30.
The Police and Crime Panel is a body made up of ten councillors from across North Wales and three co-opted independent members and scrutinises the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
If the Panel agrees to the increase, it will become effective in the next financial year from April 2023.
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