Staffordshire’s Commissioner says he is “fully aware” of the challenges facing residents as a scrutiny panel agreed to an increase in the share of the council tax bill for policing.
Matthew Ellis discussed his proposals at the Police, Fire and Crime Panel yesterday (1st February) for the amount to be paid locally towards policing.
The group agreed the proposal for a 5.99% rise in the precept, which equates to 26p a week or £13.48 a year for a typical Band D property towards policing.
The commissioner said:
“I have always tried hard to keep the cost to local taxpayers down and since I first set the local tax for policing in 2013, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have seen the second smallest increase of all 43 police force areas nationally.
“Now more than ever, when people have been furloughed and it is so difficult for everyone, I feel it is not the time to ask the public for as much as you possibly can, just because you may have the power to do so.
“I decided on enough to ensure the continued good policing we’ve all come to expect, but I’m very aware of what awful circumstances have been caused by the pandemic.”Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis
The commissioner said the benefits of additional funding for police had already been felt by Lichfield and Burntwood residents.
“People in Staffordshire have already paid locally for a boost in an additional 91 police officers over the last few years and another 90 will be in place from Home Office funding by the end of March, of which we have seen and felt the benefit.
“They have also paid for investment in other police capabilities such as roads policing and enhanced digital investigations.
“Public services have been heroic in their efforts during these awful times.
“The ongoing effects of the virus and catastrophic impact on businesses, jobs and livelihoods means getting the balance right, between investing in services and being clear that people are hurting financially, is vital.”Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis