Police could raise council tax precept to fund 100 new officers

PCC for Sussex Kate Bourne

PCC for Sussex Kate Bourne

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Katy Bourne will ask households if they would be willing to pay around £5 extra in council tax to fund more than 100 new police officers and specialist staff.

The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner announced today, Thursday, November 3, that she wants to hear people’s views on proposals to raise the police precept to create an extra £3m for policing each year.

Mrs Bourne said: “We need the right people, with the right skills in the right place to protect you and fight crime.

“That’s why I want to invest in 100 new officers and staff in specialist teams to strengthen local policing and keep our communities safe.

“I am responsible for setting the policing element of council tax in Sussex.

“I would like to ask households if they would be prepared to pay – on average - an additional £5 which would create an extra £3m for policing each year.

“When that is added to the £2m savings already identified, it allows Sussex Police to invest in over 100 police officers and specialist staff.”

The extra staff would be in the following areas:

Community Priority Crime Teams: To investigate local crime problems, dismantle organised gangs and remove repeat offenders and provide a reassuring community presence.

Expert Youth Teams: To target and support those younger people most at risk of committing crimes or becoming a victim of crime.

Specialist Firearms Officers: For counter terrorism deterrence and response.

Public Protection Investigators: To provide appropriate response and more capacity to deal with the increased reports of sexual offences and child protection cases.

Mrs Bourne added: “Sussex Police is modernising its services to meet the local policing and security needs of the 21st century.

“This new way of working has been acknowledged as ambitious and positive by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

“Whilst that transformation is under way across all areas of policing and will take time, I want to make sure Sussex residents can see local policing being strengthened now.”

A public consultation will begin next week on the Sussex Police website and at public engagements across Sussex, and will close in January 2017.

The PCC will then present her recommendations on whether to propose a rise in the precept to the Police and Crime Panel in January.

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