Cambridgeshire police commissioner announces tax increase

Police commisioner, Sir Graham Bright.

Police commisioner, Sir Graham Bright. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is set to increase the police’s share of Council Tax by seven pence per week.

The news comes after the Cambridgeshire force received £1.2m less than expected in the police grant for 2014/15 from the Government.

Commissioner Sir Graham Bright said the increase would mean that the frontline continues would be protected.

Significant savings had already been made by police in order to balance the 2014/15 budget, but Thursday’s grant settlement announcement revealed that forces, including Cambridgeshire, had been ‘top sliced’ to fund national initiatives.

Sir Graham said: “We already have one of the lowest cost and most productive police

workforces in the country with the highest percentage of officers on frontline duties.

“Despite having already made savings of £4.9m within the current year, we have managed to increase the number of police officers working on local policing from 988.5 at the start of the year to 998 at the start of this coming year.

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“I’ve been listening to what the public have told me. They want to see officers out and about in their communities, keeping them safe. Protecting the frontline is priority for me and I have always said that.

“I needed to listen to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of police

visibility with affordability of tax increases. My budget is on the basis that I have listened to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of feet on the street with affordability of tax increases.”

If accepted, the precept will nominally provide a £131.5m budget for policing in 2014/15.

The total reduction in the police grant, after top slicing for several national projects, is five per cent – or £3.87m in cash.