FAQ – Council tax 2021/22

FAQ – Council tax 2021/222021-02-16T13:06:54+00:00

You can find information on the amount you will pay from your council tax in 2020/21 by viewing the PCC’s Council Tax leaflet.

Below are some additional answers to questions on the use of the policing element of your council tax:

Q) What will the new 83 police officers (73 paid for by the Government uplift programme and 10 paid for by council tax) be doing once recruited?

A) Most new recruits go into local policing teams or trainee detective posts. However, this then allows experienced officers to move into specialist roles, which is where much of the growth in policing has been proposed by the Chief Constable. The new resources will be focused on:

  • A new team of officers focused on reducing the most serious accidents on our roads
  • More officers based on local proactive policing teams to increase visibility across towns and villages in Surrey and prevent crimes
  • Learner detectives to be coached and mentored to join our detectives in solving crimes across Surrey and across the range of crime types from murders and rapes to burglaries and theft
  • More officers on the Neighbourhood Investigation Teams – investigating and solving local crimes
  • More officers tackling County Lines, a criminal gang model which targets local vulnerable children to deal drugs
  • Officers to target repeat domestic abusers in Surrey

Q) What will the new 67 police staff be doing once recruited?

A) The new police staff will be split amongst a number of operational support roles in Surrey Police. These are all roles identified by the Chief Constable as being required to improve safety and investigations in Surrey. These roles include:

  • Investigative assistants – carrying out investigation work and interviewing of suspects.These staff then allow the police officers in posts to stay out visible in communities rather than carrying out these office based duties.
  • Detective coaching staff – often recently retired police officers, these staff will help our new recruits and new detectives develop the skills needed to investigate crimes
  • Rural crime team – some of the extra police officers and staff will form a small but dedicated rural crime team to prevent and solve crimes in rural communities
  • Trained intelligence gathering and research analysts – these operational support staff gather information on criminal gangs operating in Surrey and put packages together for police officers to then act upon – preventing and solving more crimes
  • Digital contact staff – as more and more of the public choose to contact the police via online chat functions and social media, these staff will assist the existing control room in responding to calls for help

Q) Why do you want to increase staff and not just officers?

A) The Government focus has been to give us extra police officers – something we very much welcome. They are also providing extra funding for their recruitment, training, cars, IT equipment and uniforms. But what they aren’t providing are the specialist skills required to support more officers and meet increased public demand.

We have two broad groups of police staff that are crucial to the running of Surrey Police. The first are those that work in roles such as human resources, IT, finance and communications. These support staff ensure that Surrey Police staff are recruited, staff well- being is looked after, people are paid and everyone has the right technology to do their job.

We don’t plan to increase any of these staff and always aim to work efficiently as possible in these areas. The second group are front-line staff, working on investigating cases, supporting victims of crime, working in our contact centre, carrying out crime analysis or forensic work etc. As our police officer numbers grow, Surrey Police will require more of these staff to effectively and efficiently police the county.

Q) What is the money for commissioning services going to be used for?

A)The council tax increase will also help us to fund key support services for victims of domestic violence, stalking and child abuse. Around £600,000 will be commissioned through the PCC’s office current funding streams and will help:

  • Support some of our most vulnerable victims of crime, and thus…
  • Manage demand on frontline officers and staff
  • Reduce cases withdrawn at or before court
  • Increase the numbers of crimes solved and offenders brought to justice.

Q) How much does the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner cost?

A) The overall budget for the OPCC is around £2m of which £750,000 is for the PCC’s Community Safety Fund (in addition the OPCC receives a Ministry of Justice grant for £1.4m which makes up the Victims Fund).

Q) How much does the PCC get paid?

A) The salaries of Police and Crime Commissioners are decided on a national basis and vary depending on the size of the force area they represent. The Surrey PCC receives a salary of £71,400

Q) Will any of the rise in council tax go towards paying for the Surrey Police HQ

A) No. The new site in Leatherhead was purchased in March 2019 for a cost of £20.5m. The future sale of five police sites across the county will fund a significant proportion of the cost of buying and developing the new base. In the long term the new site will make savings from being modern and efficient.

For the latest information on the new HQ project -click here.

Q) What is the current Surrey Police officer establishment?

A) The police officer establishment for 2020/21 is 2022. The staff establishment (including PCSOs) is 1,911

Q) How many police officers do you expect to recruit in total over the next year?

A) This would depend on how many officers retire or leave the organisation. Surrey Police will plan to recruit to fill posts that become vacant through people leaving and in addition to the new 73 posts funded by central government and the others made possible by the precept.

Q) Are Surrey Police making any savings in 2021/22?

A) A total of around £6.3m in savings has been incorporated into the budget for 2021/22

Q) How much has Surrey Police got in reserves? Can that not be used to fund local

A) Over recent years Surrey Police has reduced its reserves to one of the lowest levels of any police force in the country. The general reserves strategy for the OPCC is to maintain a balance that does not fall below 3% of the budget.

Click here for more information and to read our latest reserves strategy