Thames Valley Police Crime Commissioner approves tax hike after public's positive response

Budget will investment into the force
Budget will investment into the force

Proposed in December the capital and revenue plan will increase the police force's share of the council tax.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld has approved the capital and revenue plans presented to him by Chief Constable Francis Habgood in December which will see council tax bills rise by between £1.33 and £4 per month.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld

Mr Stansfeld said: “The 2019/20 funding settlement has allowed us to avoid a reduction in resource and I am pleased to be able to agree a budget which enables Thames Valley Police to invest in operational policing to help protect our communities.

“It is important to recognise, however that more than half of the funding in the Governments 2019/20 settlement (£509m) available nationally to Police and Crime Commissioners is expected to come from local taxpayers by increasing the police portion of the Council Tax.

“Before I made a decision on the level of Council Tax, I sought views of the residents of the Thames Valley. Of the 8,031 people who completed the survey, 69.7 per cent agreed to an increase to fund policing. I am therefore proposing an increase in the police portion of the Council Tax in 2019/20 of £24 for the equivalent of a Band D property.

“After funding pay and price rise, the increase in Council Tax enables me to invest around £8.5m in a number of priority policing areas. These include the recruitment of additional officers to respond to increasing crime demand and complexity, improved service to the public in investment in 101 call handling, the recruitment of investigators to tackle complex crime and, investment in technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

“I am confident that the budget proposed protects our communities today and plans for the future. Over the next four years, Thames Valley Police will need to continue to make efficiency savings of over £15m with demand on services expected to continue to increase through increased reporting of complex crime and the growing challenge from serious organised crime networks”.

The areas TVP will use this cash investment is as follows:

• Improve services to the public through contact management by reducing 101 call handling times

• Increase frontline policing by recruiting additional officers and staff to respond to increasing crime demand and complexity

• Improve investigative capacity and process for complex crimes

• Increase digital capability by exploiting the modern platforms TVP have been investing in.

The budget will now go to the Police and Crime Panel on the February 1 for final ratification

Francis Habgood Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police said: “Firstly I would like to thank the public for showing their support for policing. Without this additional investment we would have faced further cuts and it would have seriously damaged our ability to provide the policing services that we want to and our communities expect.

“The increase agreed today will enable us to recruit additional officers and staff to respond to increased demand, recruit more investigators to tackle the increase in complex crimes, deliver an improved 101 service and to invest in technology to improve productivity and efficiency.”

The exact monthly increase of the police's share of the council tax across the bands are as follows:

A = £121.52 to £137.52 an increase of £1.33.

B = £141.77 to £160.44 an increase of £1.56.

C = £162.03 to £183.36 an increase of £1.78.

D = £182.28 to £206.28 an increase of £2.00.

E = £222.79 to £252.12 an increase of £2.44.

F = £263.29 to £297.96 an increase of £2.89.

G = £303.80 to £343.80 an increase of £3.33.

H = £364.56 to £412.56 an increase of £4.00.