Rising demand may require ‘movement on the precept level’

More flexible funding rules may be required to help forces cope with the “surge in demand”, according to the chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).

Nov 13, 2017

More flexible funding rules may be required to help forces cope with the “surge in demand”, according to the chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd believes current limitations on raising money through the council tax precept could have to change if more central funding is not provided in the forthcoming budget. Speaking ahead of a Home Affairs Select Committee meeting on Tuesday (November 14), he highlighted rising pressures on the service as evidence that “a response is needed”. Current rules only allow PCCs to increase the precept by two per cent without triggering a referendum, or by £5 in the ten parts of the country with the lowest rate. Mr Lloyd said control rooms around the country now receive on a daily basis “the amount of calls they used to only get on New Year’s Eve”. He added: “The issue is whether or not government will say nationally taxpayers need to pick this up and put in the extra money which was suggested, or we do that locally through council tax. “If that is the case, there will need to be some movement on the precept level.” Latest figures show forces receive more than eight million 999 calls every year and the number recorded has risen consistently since 2014. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services said 10.5 per cent more calls were logged in 2016/17 than the previous year. It added that this increase, combined with other pressures, has led to some 101 calls being left unresolved. Forces are also being asked to improve their crime recording standards, leading to increased workloads. Mr Lloyd has previously claimed that raising Hertfordshire’s precept by just £1 a week would “transform” policing in the county. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is due to announce departmental spending and any changes in council tax arrangements in his Budget next week.

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