Would you pay more Council Tax to provide extra Melton police officers?

Lord Willy Bach, police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire EMN-200115-160343001
Lord Willy Bach, police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire EMN-200115-160343001
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Melton residents are again being asked if they would be willing to pay a higher rate of Council Tax to increase police resources.

The request is being made by Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lord Willy Bach, who receives a proportion of the tax payments, along with local authorities and the fire service.

The number of police officers in the county has reduced by almost a quarter since 2010.

Extra funding was given through Council Tax in the 2019-20 budget, which enabled the PCC to fund an additional 107 police officers.

The government has also pledged to recruit a further 20,000 officers across the UK over the next three years, but Lord Bach said more resources were urgently needed now in Leicestershire to tackle community problems and new threats posed by terrorism, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, modern slavery and online crime.

Lord Bach said: “We need to ensure that we have funds in the future to sustain these numbers otherwise we will simply lose other resources to balance the budget.

“The increases in police numbers that I have been able to make over the past few years have had an impact on crime locally, but the national picture is still a worrying one and the threats are very challenging.

“Reductions in funding have been accompanied by a national increase in recorded crime.

“There are unavoidable costs which have to be met and which reduce the overall level of resources I have at my disposal.

“I’m keen to invest in our police and want to ensure the force has the resources it needs to provide the type of police service you expect and deserve.”

Approximately two-thirds of police funding comes from central government – the rest is raised through council tax.

“The Government’s grant looks set to continue to decline in real terms,” Lord Bach added.

“So that Leicestershire Police can provide the best possible service to local communities, I have little option but to consider increasing the policing element of your local council Band D tax bill.

“This in line with what the Government has said it expects PCCs across the country to do.”

Go to www.leics.pcc.police.uk/Home.aspx to complete an online survey and indicate if you would be willing to pay extra Council Tax.