Police & Crime Commissioner requests extra £2.7m for Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Police. EMN-170512-171912001
Lincolnshire Police. EMN-170512-171912001

An extra £2.7 million will be raised for policing in Lincolnshire, with an average increase of less than 25p a week on council tax.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has revealed his proposed budget for this year includes an increase in council tax of 5.8 per cent – and has committed a further £5.3 million of reserves to protect front line policing.

The total budget of £118 million includes nearly £1m for victims’ services, and £1m in crime reduction projects.

Funds provided will enable the force to retain its current 1,100 officers and up to 120 PCSOs.

The budget also includes provision for a significant investment in a new ‘Command & Control’ system for the police - which will aim to bring significant operational benefits through the better use of resources and data.

A proposed rise has been embraced by respondents to the PCC’s consultation, which was returned by nearly 3,000 people.

The questionnaire asked the level of extra council tax residents are prepared to pay to protect and enhance the police force.

In every single tax band, the highest percentage of people opted for the biggest increase – averaging at more than a third of respondents opting for a 20 per cent increase.

Across all tax bands, at least half of people opted for increases of at least 16 per cent - considerably higher than the increase of less than 5.8 per cent proposed.

But Mr Jones warned that, with reserves now depleted, the force faces a funding gap which could hit £6.5m by 2021 if current funding levels do not change but said he was still in talks with ministers and civil servants to seek a solution.

He said: “I am delighted we have been able to provide a balanced budget that will allow the Chief Constable to maintain officer numbers for next year.

“We do face some tough challenges in the years ahead and if we cannot find solutions it’s hard to see how we can maintain service levels. But there is strong support from local MPs and positive on-going dialogue with Whitehall and I will continue to work tirelessly to find a solution.

“In the meantime I am confident we can continue our drive to provide modern, effective and efficient policing for the people of Lincolnshire.”

• The Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel will consider the proposed budget precept at their meeting on Monday February 5, starting at 11am at Tedder Hall, Manby.

The audio for this meeting will be broadcast live online at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk, and the meeting is open to the public.