£1 tax increase examined by Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner

PCC Anthony Stansfeld is seeking views on the tax increase proposals
PCC Anthony Stansfeld is seeking views on the tax increase proposals

Plans to see taxpayers pay an extra £1 a month to help with police funding are to be looked at by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Thames Valley’s PCC Anthony Stansfeld has launched a survey seeking opinions from taxpayers over the proposed plans.

The government recently announced it was to give PCCs more power to raise its share of council tax by £1 a month for band D properties.

It is anticipated that if this were to be implemented, it would lead to a £12.7million funding boost for a force which has had to make £99million of savings since 2011 - with more than 450 police officer roles cut.

At present around 60 per cent of Thames Valley Police’s £393 million annual policing budget is funded by central government, with the policing element of council tax making up the remainder.

Mr Stansfeld said: “Setting the budget for 2018/19 needs to be considered in the context of an already constrained financial position as well as the additional pressures policing faces as demand in some of the most complex and challenging areas continues to increase.

“This includes rising reports and cases of hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual offences, serious violence and exploitation have all increased the pressure on police resources.

“Needless to say this is proving to be extremely challenging and without the increase of £12 per year in council tax, as recommended by the Home Secretary, we would have to make further significant reductions in police officers and staff which will affect the level and quality of policing service we are able to offer.

“Ideally I would not choose to consult over the busy Christmas and New Year period and particularly on such an important issue, however, the Chief Constable and I only received the provisional police grant settlement for 2018/19 from the Home Office on Tuesday 19th December.

“Unfortunately due to budget decisions needing to be finalised by the end of January I am only able to run the consultation until 11th January.

“I apologise for the timing and length of the consultation period but I hope people will take the time to complete the survey which will help the Chief Constable and I to make an informed decision on the budget for 2018/19.”

You can complete the survey here.