Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro is asking residents whether they would be prepared to pay a bit more in council tax to boost policing numbers and support officers and staff in the county over the coming year.
The PCC is consulting with Surrey tax-payers on his proposal of a 5.5% annual increase in the amount the public pay for policing through their council tax.
The Commissioner said he believes the role police officers and staff play in Surrey’s communities is more important now than ever as the county continues to face up to challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The proposed rise, coupled with Surrey Police’s next allocation of the 20,000 officers paid for by central government, would mean the Force could add an extra 150 officers and staff to their establishment over the coming year.
The PCC is inviting the public to have their say by filling in a short online survey here.
One of the PCC’s key responsibilities is to set the overall budget for Surrey Police including determining the level of council tax raised for policing in the county, known as the precept, which funds the Force together with a grant from central government.
In December, the Home Office gave PCCs across the country the flexibility to increase the policing element of a Band D Council Tax bill by £15 a year or an extra £1.25 a month – the equivalent of around 5.5% across all bands.
The combination of last year’s precept together with the initial share of the national officer uplift meant Surrey Police were able to strengthen their establishment by 150 officers and staff during 2020/21.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Force are well on track to fill those posts by the end of this financial year and the PCC said he wants to match that success by adding another 150 to the ranks during 2021/22.
The government has provided ring-fenced funding for an extra 73 officers for Surrey Police for the second tranche of officers from their national uplift.
To complement that uplift in police numbers – the PCC’s proposed 5.5% rise would allow the Force to invest in an additional 10 officer and 67 staff roles including:
- A new team of officers focused on reducing the most serious accidents on our roads
- A dedicated rural crime team to tackle and prevent issues in the county’s rural communities
- More police staff focused on assisting local investigations, such as interviewing suspects, to allow police officers to stay out visible in communities
- Trained intelligence gathering and research analysts to gather information on criminal gangs operating in Surrey and help target those causing the most harm in our communities