South Yorkshire Police ask for maximum increase possible for council tax precept

Dr Alan Billings
Dr Alan Billings

South Yorkshire Police has asked for the maximum increase possible for the portion of council tax spent on policing.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings asked for a £12 increase per year for a Band D property - the maximum permitted by the government.

Most properties in South Yorkshire are in lower bands, meaning the increases will be £8 per year for a Band A property and £9.33 for those in Band B.

Dr Billings said during public consultation exercises, 80 per cent of residents said they were prepared to pay more for policing but would expect to see more officers in communities and an improvement in the 101 telephone service used to report non urgent incidents and to speak to officers.

South Yorkshire Police is due to receive government funding of £186.4 million for the next financial year, which is the same as the force received last year, but only if the council tax precept for policing is increased by the permitted maximum of 7.6 per cent.

Dr Billings, said: "Again this year the Government has not increased the amount of money it gives police and crime commissioners to provide policing and crime services, despite awarding the police a two per cent pay increase.

"I have to raise the precept by the maximum amount in order to provide the same level of policing services as in previous years and to restore neighbourhood policing.

"Even so, to balance the books, the police service will still have to find further savings and we shall have to use some of our reserves.

"During the consultation process it has been clear that people do understand the difficulties we face in continuing to provide policing services against a backdrop of reductions in

government funding but at the same time they expect to receive a good level of neighbourhood policing."

The proposal was agreed by members of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel on Friday.