Councillors on Kent and Medway’s Police and Crime Panel today approved the police budget for 2022/23.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, requested a rise in the police council tax precept of £10 a year for an average Band D property, or 84p per month.
He told the panel he did not do this lightly, but with a real term reduction in funds coming from Central Government and increasing inflation, he wanted to protect improvements made over the last six years and continue to invest in the future.
Thanks to a combination of council tax payers’ support and funding from the Government’s Uplift Programme, police officer numbers have rise by 788 since 2016 and 183 more than the previous peak of March 2010. A further 195 officers will be recruited this year through the Uplift Programme, although the Government has mandated that ten will go to the Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Matthew Scott says, “We are getting a lot from our investment. The county now has specialist teams working both in urban and rural communities, a dedicated crime squad to reduce burglaries and another to tackle drug dealing gangs. Crime is falling. We are seeing results and I don’t want to stop there.
But we have to acknowledge financial pressures. We still have savings of maybe up to £6.8 million to make and we will try to do this in a managed way. Rising national insurance contributions, increased wages and the Covid pandemic means we have no choice but to increase the council tax precept”.
NOTE to EDITORS:
Kent will receive £230.5 million from Central Government, but in real terms this is a decrease of 16.6% since 2010/11.
This will mean an average Band D property will pay £228.15 a year.
Currently Kent has the 8th lowest council tax precept in the country.