£10 increase for households on police tax bills

Suffolk police dealt with more than 400 calls overnight on New Year's Eve

Families face paying £10 more for policing in the year ahead - Credit: Archant

Families will be asked to pay more for policing in Suffolk this year - to help pay for improvements to the 101 response service.

A maximum £10 increase for Band D homes as part of the Suffolk council tax bill is being proposed from April.

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore outlined his precept proposals for 2022/23 at the launch of a public consultation.

It proposes the maximum £10 increase for the year for a Band D property – the equivalent of 19p per week extra. For Band B properties which are the most common in Suffolk, it represents a £7.77 increase or 15p per week.

Mr Passmore said that will generate an extra £2.5million for the service - £1m for existing commitments, such as pay and inflation costs, while £1.4m will fund improvement plans for the control room, which includes addressing concerns around the 101 service.

According to the PCC’s plans, additional staff will be recruited to take 101 calls, and manage resources responding to calls more efficiently. It will also create a ‘digital desk’ around online and social media contact.

Mr Passmore said: “Our funding from Government this year is just not enough, even with the savings programme already agreed.

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“I need to increase the precept to maintain the level of service we currently receive.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, urged people to act responsibly

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“In all my public engagement, including the recent consultation on my new Police and Crime Plan, the one thing that came through loud and clear was the public’s dissatisfaction with the 101 service. It is absolutely crucial I address these concerns.

“I have worked closely with the Chief Constable to agree how the potential funding will be allocated. It is a difficult balance but one that I believe meets the needs of the council taxpayer. I hope people will take the opportunity to respond to the survey and let me know their thoughts.”

The public can comment on the proposals until the closing date of January 27, with the proposals then being presented to the Police and Crime Panel the following day.

The police 101 service has come under fire over response times in recent months. Figures for 2020/21 indicated an average response time of 15 minutes.

Chief Constable, Steve Jupp said: “At a time when demands on policing are growing exponentially it is essential that the contact and control room (CCR) is properly resourced and equipped to deliver a high-quality service and ensure Suffolk continues to be a safe place in which to live, work, travel and invest. The importance of the CCR cannot be overstated as it performs a crucial service to the public and the Constabulary."

The survey runs until 9am on Thursday, January 27. To take part and find out more visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SuffolkPolicingPreceptSurvey2022-23 or the PCC’s website at www.suffolk-pcc.gov.uk