Merseyside's Police Commissioner asks
local people to help protect local Policing
MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner is
asking local people if they would be willing to pay a little extra to help
protect Police Officer numbers and recruit new Armed Officers after the
Government sidestepped its responsibility to invest in the Police Service.
After 7 years of austerity, the Government announced in December 2017 that the Police
would, once again, receive no more new money from the Home Office to tackle
crime in Merseyside. Instead, Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP
announced Police and Crime Commissioners would be expected to ask local
taxpayers to pay up to an extra ₤1 a month towards their Police Service, through
their Council Tax.
Since 2010, Merseyside Police has had to make cuts of ₤103m, with an estimated
₤18m still to make by 2021 to 2022.
If the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, does not win the support of local people,
Merseyside Police will be left facing a further shortfall of more than ₤3.17m;
the equivalent of 64 Police Officer posts. Jane said:- "The sad truth is
that this Government has once again left police forces around the country facing
a funding black hole. They have washed their hands of their responsibility and
instead are shifting the burden of paying for the Police on to the shoulders of
local Council Taxpayers. By freezing the grant provided by
Central Government, at the 2017 / 2018 rate, a reduction on the previous 2 years;
the Policing Minister has imposed a real terms cut on the Police budget, as we
contend with pay and inflationary pressures. His proposal is that I make up this
shortfall by asking Local Taxpayers to pay more.
This is a step which I am reluctant to take, however, if I don't raise the
Policing element of local Council Tax, then Merseyside Police will be penalised
and our communities adversely affected.
This money will be used to save Police Officer jobs and help us to recruit 20
new Armed Officers, who are needed to help tackling the scourge of serious and
organised crime on Merseyside and to protect our communities.
The Government did not bother to ask people if they would be willing to
contribute more for Policing before they made this announcement; instead they
arrogantly assumed that local residents could stump up the cash.
I know finances are tight for a lot of people on Merseyside at the moment so I
don't ask for this Tax rise lightly."
The Commissioner is now holding a region wide consultation asking people if they
would be willing to contribute the extra funding expected by Central Government
to make up for the shortfall and help her to limit the impact of the ongoing
The increase equates to approximately 15p a week or ₤8 a year for a Band A
household; the lowest Council Tax category and the amount paid by the majority
of Tax payers, on Merseyside. This would increase the Police element of Tax
payers' bills from ₤110.65 to ₤118.65 a year.
Even with this increase, the Commissioner and Chief Constable will still be
forced to make savings of ₤7m over the next 12 months.
Jane said:- "Since 2015 the Government have assumed that Police and Crime
Commissioners like myself will put up the Council Tax precept to minimise the
impact of their cuts to funding. It is a move which comes from a Government who
know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Any additional funding we
can raise from the precept will not replace the 1,000 Officers we have lost over
the last 7 years. However, it will mean that we will have 64 Officers more, by
March 2019 than we would otherwise. In a climate of growing demands, rising
crime and increasing calls for help from the public, I do not believe we can
afford to lose any more officers. I am therefore forced to ask people on
Merseyside if they would be willing to contribute that extra 15p a week to help
protect vital frontline Police Services."
People are invited to have their say through a short
online survey, by Sunday, 4
February 2018. The Commissioner will also be holding a series of road shows
throughout Merseyside to ask people for their views.
Please find details of the community consultation events below:-
Time and Date
2pm to 4pm on Monday,
22 January 2018
Sainsbury's, Rice Lane, Walton,
10am to 12noon on Tuesday,
Tesco Extra Store, Park Road,
Liverpool, L8 4XF
2pm to 4pm on
23 January 2018
Ormskirk Road, Liverpool
10am to 12noon on Wednesday,
12 Shopping Park, Derby Road, Southport,
10am to 12 noon on Friday,
Asda, Huyton Lane,
Liverpool, L36 7TX
2pm to 4pm on Friday, 26 January 2018
ASDA, Kirkland Street,
St Helens, WA10 2EF,
2pm to 4pm
29 January 2018
Asda Birkenhead, 222 Grange Road,
Birkenhead, CH41 6EB