Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry (right) with Chief Constable Kate Meynell.
A budget which will see police officer numbers remain at their highest in over a decade was given support by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Panel today.
Ten out of 12 members of the cross-party scrutiny panel voted to support Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry’s recommendation to increase the policing precept in the council tax by £14.94 for Band D properties to help maintain the force’s ability to “help vulnerable people when they need it most.”
Commissioner Henry told the panel, made up of councillors from local authorities across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, that she recognised times were hard for families due to the increased cost of living and that Nottinghamshire Police was facing the same financial pressures.
“Protecting the most vulnerable is more important than ever. It’s not the time to be cutting back on police and the protection for vulnerable people,” said Commissioner Henry.
“We are going to need your police more than ever. They are looking after vulnerable people and keeping people safe and working together in partnership.”
Commissioner Henry said the council tax increase along with government grant would allow the force to maintain its Police Uplift Programme target this year.
She added that it would also mean the force could keep 150 Police Community Support Officers, at a time when other Police and Crime Commissioners had made the tough decision to remove funding for PCSOs.
Commissioner Henry’s funding vision for 2023-24 also includes safeguarding a £4.2 million budget for grants and commissioning to continue vital work to support victims and prevent crime, help people feel safe and protect them from becoming victims of crime.
She added that the force and her Office had identified nearly £5 million of efficiency savings, through initiatives such as bringing more services in-house and smarter use of IT, to ensure the force was as lean as it could be.
The panel also heard how a robust consultation has taken place, including over 4,500 people from a representative sample of communities across the county in a door-to-door survey on the plans, as well as focus groups and a social media survey – all of which had shown a majority of support for the plans.
Commissioner Henry said: “I have a duty as Police and Crime Commissioner to make sure we have an efficient and effective police force in Nottinghamshire and to do that I have made the hard decision to ask for the maximum precept this year.”
Following its vote of support for the recommendation, the panel will now provide its formal feedback to Commissioner Henry.
Posted on Tuesday 7th February 2023