Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes presents draft budget

Basingstoke Gazette: Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes

TWO hundred police jobs could be saved to ensure the Hampshire force provides a better service to the public.

That is one of a number of proposals put forward by the county’s new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Hayes in his four-year vision for the force.

Mr Hayes put a draft budget before the new police and crime panel last Friday – and at their inaugural meeting, the panel voted to set a rise in the police element of the council tax.

From April, residents will have to pay an extra 3.4 per cent towards policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – the equivalent of an extra £5 a year or 10p a week for those living in a Band D property.

Mr Hayes said the increase was needed to invest in the force, currently faced with saving £55million over four years, so that the county has enough manpower to ensure it stays a safe place to live and work.

So far, around £40m of savings have been identified and more than 1,000 police service posts have been lost.

The tax rise was passed after all but one panel member voted in favour, meaning the budget for 2013-14 will be £310.4m.

The plan to save jobs will not be ratified until March. If approved, it will mean the 999 call centre will be bolstered, although it won’t necessarily mean more officers on the streets.

Mr Hayes told the panel: “We would like to enable the constabulary to respond more speedily to calls and that means a call centre that has greater capability than it has now.”

Asked why he wanted to raise the council tax precept at a time when people are facing their own financial constraints, Mr Hayes said the force had been placed “under considerable strain” by the cuts and added: “We don’t believe the resilience of the police service as it is can continue for very much longer”.

John Apter, chairman of the county’s police federation, said: “During the past couple of years, we have seen police officer numbers slashed due to the budget cuts.

“This announcement gives me hope that more police officers will be available to support what is a very thin blue line.

“A well-resourced control room is essential to deliver great policing and I am pleased that the PCC recognises this.”

Comments (4)

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9:48am Fri 1 Feb 13

JJ38JJ says...

A couple of years ago the Police part of the Council Tax went up more than inflation because they had to buy a new type of digital radio system. Logically then the bill the following year should have been lower once the system was bought and paid for. But guess what? It wasn't - it went up by more than inflation again. So why can't they use the money we are still paying for their radios that they already have?
A couple of years ago the Police part of the Council Tax went up more than inflation because they had to buy a new type of digital radio system. Logically then the bill the following year should have been lower once the system was bought and paid for. But guess what? It wasn't - it went up by more than inflation again. So why can't they use the money we are still paying for their radios that they already have? JJ38JJ
  • Score: 0

11:20am Fri 1 Feb 13

Cynical Reader says...

JJ38JJ What do the radios have to do with the call centre improvement?
They are contacted by the public by telephone.
JJ38JJ What do the radios have to do with the call centre improvement? They are contacted by the public by telephone. Cynical Reader
  • Score: 0

8:18am Wed 6 Feb 13

JJ38JJ says...

Nothing at all - you missed my point. A few years ago our bill went up to pay for a one-off purchase. But it didn't go down the following year - so we are still paying for that one-off purchase every year.
The following year's percentage increase should have been calculated on the previous year's cost minus the cost of the one-off purchase.
Nothing at all - you missed my point. A few years ago our bill went up to pay for a one-off purchase. But it didn't go down the following year - so we are still paying for that one-off purchase every year. The following year's percentage increase should have been calculated on the previous year's cost minus the cost of the one-off purchase. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Cynical Reader says...

OK, understood.

However, I can't object to an extra £5 a year for Mr. Plod.

I do object to the salary Mr. Hayes gets for a job that didn't exist last year.
OK, understood. However, I can't object to an extra £5 a year for Mr. Plod. I do object to the salary Mr. Hayes gets for a job that didn't exist last year. Cynical Reader
  • Score: 0

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