Posted inUncategorized

Gwent Police precept could rise by five per cent to pay for new officers

COUNCIL tax payers across Gwent could face a rise of five per cent in the amount they pay towards policing from April.

The increase in the police precept, which is part of council tax bills across Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly, would mean a band D household paying an extra £14.40 per year or £1.20 per month.

The proposed increase is lower than had been planned in the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner’s medium-term financial plan, which assumes annual rises of 6.82 per cent.

A budget bid put forward by Gwent Police chief constable Pam Kelly also requested the 6.82 per cent rise.

However a report going before the Gwent Police and Crime Panel proposes a lower rise of five per cent.

The report says: “It must be emphasised however, that this reduced council tax precept proposal, in no way undermines the integrity, robustness and justification of the chief constable’s bid.

“Instead it is a simple case of having to risk manage the policing budget over the short-term, in order to provide an affordable increase to support policing on the householders of Gwent.”

The reduction has also been made after a provisional government settlement was more positive than expected for the policing service in the short-term.

But the report says it is expected that precept rises will revert back to the assumed rate of 6.82 per cent after next year.

This rate of increase is the amount which would maintain investment for around 170 new police officer posts in the force since 2016.

The proposed precept rise would contribute to Gwent Police recruiting an additional 10 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) next year, taking the total to 172 in the force.

It is planned to further increase the number to 196 by 2026/27.

A public consultation was carried out, asking residents if they would support increasing the police part of council tax by up to £2 a month, to maintain policing at current levels.

A £2 a month increase equates to a rise of 8.33 per cent, which is more than now proposed.

Out of 1,697 people who responded, 750 (44.2 per cent) supported a £2 increase, 649 (38.2 per cent) were against, with the remainder unsure or not answering.

Gwent’s Police and Crime Panel will consider the proposed precept rise at a meeting next Friday.

Photo credit

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Posted inNews

Gwent Police precept could rise by five per cent to pay for new officers

blue flashing lights on police car