15 February 2021
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed confirmation from Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) that there will be a precept increase, which means the Force can continue its drive to recruit more officers and also improve policing services across Derbyshire.
With an increase of 6.62 per cent on the police precept element of council tax, the budget will be set at £202.63 million over the 2021/22 financial year, which is up £12.75 million compared to the last 12 months.
Tony backed the PCC’s efforts to get the extra funding, following years of Government cuts for the service.
“I’m pleased to hear that the Force will benefit from the next budget,” he said, “The Government has embarked on a three-year programme to increase officer numbers across England and Wales by 20,000 over a three-year period and this does have cost implications for forces themselves.
“This past financial year, we’ve managed to recruit 79 new officers within Derbyshire. Not only will the extra money raised by an increase in council tax mean we can keep officer numbers rising but the increase in budget will help us to invest across a number of service areas.”
Areas of policing being considered for investment include the contact management and resolution centre, neighbourhood investigation officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, flexible deployment of CCTV and rapid deployment cameras.
Drones, e-bikes, speed enforcement lasers and north east and north west estate plans will also be reviewed.
PCC Hardyal Dhindsa says it was vital to increase the precept, to protect progress made over the last few years.
“We will continue to explore every avenue for efficiency savings, but this will not be at the cost of officer numbers,” said Mr Dhindsa, who also pointed out that in a period of financial uncertainty due to the pandemic, he was keen not to set a budget that would prompt cuts in future years.
“While I am pleased that the Government has recognised the need for additional funding for policing, I remain disappointed that it expects the local taxpayer to provide it.
“I will continue to call for a fairer funding deal for Derbyshire. We need to ensure that officers’ posts are secure in the coming years, that necessary support is in place to make them as effective as possible and that we continue to take the number of officers back towards the pre-austerity numbers.”